Hayk Demoyan: Armenian Genocide Museum’s Paris Exhibition will be “Unparalleled”

TH_Armenian genocide-museum Armenian Genocide Museum Institute.

The Armenian Genocide Museum Institute (AGMI) announced Monday that it would open a temporary exhibit in Paris that will include materials that will be showcased for the first time outside of Armenia.

“Armenia 1915: Paris Hosts the Collection of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute of Yerevan,” will showcase photos and documents from the genocide, which took place from 1915 to 1923 and killed over 1.5 million Armenians. Approximately 150 exhibits consisting of survivors’ personal belongings and photographs, newspapers, memorabilia and other material from AGMI’s collection will be put on display in Paris.

The exhibit, which will be presented thanks to support from ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank, debuts April 29 and will run through July 4 and will take place in two halls at the Hotel de Ville, the home of the Municipality of Paris’ administrative offices.

“This is really a unique event for the museum,” said AGMI Director Hayk Demoyan during a news conference. “Realizing the importance to be represented with such unparalleled exhibition in Paris, we have decided to present unique exhibits in the capital of France, which I am sure, will trigger great interest. I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Paris Municipality for such an opportunity, as well as to the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in France for assisting in organizational matters.”

The Armenia 1915 exhibit will also feature an exclusive collection of personal items from Armenian Genocide survivor Aurora Mardiganian, which will also be displayed for the first time. The Mardiganian exhibit includes posters of the silent film “Auction of Souls,” where the survivor played herself. Photos, personal belongings and other items will be exhibited as well.

Plans for Armenian Genocide exhibitions in other locations were also announced. An exhibit will debut in Moscow on April 20 at the Museum of the Great Patriotic War and other displays are being organized in California, New York City and Mexico.

The museum’s director added that when Turkey is ready to provide exhibit space and adequate security, AGMI would be more than willing to provide exhibits to showcase. He added that representative of some of Turkey’s socially progressive groups approached museum leadership about organizing a displays in Istanbul.

Demoyan also provided an update on the museum’s renovations ahead of the centenary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

The renovated exhibit space of over 2,000 square meters will showcase thousands of new documents and materials collected over the last seven years. The renovated museum will also include interactive electronic exhibits.

The museum’s temporary exhibition will be closed starting April 2 to complete its renovations in time to welcome visiting dignitaries and officials on April 24. The museum will reopen to the public on April 25 after being closed for a two-year renovation ahead of the Genocide’s 100th anniversary.

Later this year, AGMI will host the biennial Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) from July 8 to 12. This year’s conference, whose theme is Comparative Analysis of 20th Century Genocides, has drawn significant interest due to its coinciding with the Armenian Genocide centenary. Demoyan noted that the 12th IAGS meeting has received over 250,000 applications from interested conference attendees.