The Museum of the Mother Cathedral is situated in the southeast section of the Cathedral. Through the sponsorship of the Armenian Diocese of Russia, Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Kevork IV, built the museum in 1869. The museum wraps around the main altar on the south and east sides. Unique holy relics and religious art are now housed in the museum. The museum contains many reliquaries. It was common practice for artisans and patrons to create reliquaries to properly display relics, sometimes long after the relic had been given to the Church and most often made separately from the relic itself. Among the many treasures are: the Holy Lance (Geghart) which pierced the side of Christ, housed in a silver reliquary; the relics of Noah’s Ark in a reliquary that was created in 1698; “Khotekerats Sourp Nishan” reliquary with the relic of Jesus Christ’s wooden cross (914-929); the cross of King Ashot Yerkat with it chest, one of the oldest processional crosses in existence; the cross of Hovhannes-Smbat King of Ani, made of mountainous crystal; relics of the Apostles, Sts. Thaddeus, Bartholomew and Andrew and St. George; the wooden icon of the Church of Havouts Tar (10th century); the miter (liturgical crown) of Archimandrite (Vardapet) Komitas; the paintings of Steppannos Lehatsi, Soureniants and other valuable pieces of art.