New Armenian coin 300th Anniversary of Establishment of the Mechitarists Congregation

New Armenian coin 300th Anniversary of Establishment of the Mechitarists Congreg
16th of January 2017 the Central Bank of Armenia issued a silver commemorative coin 300th Anniversary of Establishment of the Mechitarists Congregation in Venice.
The Mechitarists Congregation is a spiritual, educational, scientific and cultural congregation of monks of the Armenian Catholic Church. It was founded by Mechitar of Sebastia in Constantinople in 1701. In 1717, the Congregation started operating at the island of St. Lazarus (San Lazzaro) close to Venice, Italy. The Vatican recognized Mechitar of Sebastia as a leader of the Congregation, and he was awarded the title of Abbot. The objective of the college founded in St. Lazarus in 1732 was to develop a generation that would continue the activities of the Congregation. In 1789, the Congregation established its publishing house which has since published numerous works of world and Armenian classics as well as philological, religious, scientific studies and periodicals.
In 2000, the Mechitarists Congregation of the Venice and Vienna branches held a joint general meeting at which they decided to create the United Mechitarists Congregation, with the Monastery of San Lazzaro having become its center.
The members of the Congregation are working closely with the scientists of the Republic of Armenia. Activities of these members include attending conferences on Armenian studies.
Obverse: the coat of arms of the Mekhitarists Congregation in Venice, the emblem of the city of Venice in the form of a lion and an image of St. Lazarus Island with Armenian and Italian inscriptions.
Reverse: a tower of the monastery of the Mekhitarists Congregation in Venice and the statue of Mekhitar of Sebastia. On the background – a pattern of the stained glass window of the monastery entrance. 
Designed by Vardan Vardanyan.
Minted in the Lithuanian Mint.
Technical characteristics of the coin: mintage 500 pcs, the face value is 1000 drams. The coin is made of 925 fine silver; diameter 40 mm and weight 33.6 grams.
Source of information: Central Bank of Armenia