Intervention by Lydia Margossian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Western Armenia

  • by Western Armenia, December 04, 2023 in Official
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Inaugural welcome address

Exhibition on the Heritage of Western Armenia - 4 December 2023.

Lydia MARGOSSIAN

MFA Republic of Western Armenia

Hello,

The Government of Western Armenia is delighted to welcome you to the Western Armenian Heritage Exhibition.

I would first like to thank the Montevideo Departmental Council for their kind collaboration and the initiative of Mr Pablo TAILANIAN, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Western Armenia in Montevideo, who initiated this project.

Through this exhibition, you will be immersed in the world of an indigenous nation whose existence goes back more than 10,000 years, a nation that was at the origin of one of the oldest states in the world and whose territory is at the base of the genealogical tree of the nations and countries of the world.

The territory of the Armenian nation, situated between the three seas of the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Caspian Sea, conceals jewels that are awe-inspiring for those who have the good fortune to discover them.

One of the many sacred natural sites in Western Armenia is the symbol of the Armenian nation, Mount Ararat, which, like Mount Fuji for the Japanese, is a sacred mountain. It is the biblical mountain on which Noah's ark landed, and is considered to be the place of creation, forming a sort of link between heaven and earth.

Armenia is the land of the rising and setting sun, the home of the sun that plunges into Lake Van every night to return to its bedchamber and from where it rises every morning spreading its apricot glow typical of the picturesque landscape of Lake Van, another sacred natural site in Western Armenia.

As ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform sources attest, the Hays sacred sites of Western Armenia bear witness to the civilisational wealth of the Armenian nation. Two examples are illustrated here, namely Mount Nemrut, pantheon of the Armenian gods, and the archaeological site of Portasar, which dates back more than 11,000 years and is one of the largest and oldest sites in the world.

Going back in time, with the arrival of Christianity in Western Armenia, the territory of Western Armenia was dotted with churches and monasteries with their typical architecture, whether it be rupestrian, such as the monastic complex at Gerhard, carved into the rock, or classical Armenian, immediately recognisable, such as the Church of the Holy Cross at Aghtamar.

In many cases, Armenian monastic complexes ceased to exist following the massacres of Armenians by Abdul Hamid II in 1894.

Alongside the genocidal programmes perpetrated against the indigenous Armenian population, the genocide of the Armenians and the occupation of the territory resulted in the illicit appropriation of Armenian heritage.

Western Armenia has Islamic sites, as demonstrated by the church in the town of Aynteb, which has been converted into a mosque, and the Daroynk monastic complex, which has also been transformed into a mosque.  

Finally, this exhibition on the heritage of Western Armenia cannot overlook the majesty of the fortresses whose remains bear witness to the royal ambitions of the time.

Firstly, the fortress of Tigranakert, which in the first millennium BC was one of the 12 capitals of Armenia, and Ani, the last of the capitals founded in Greater Armenia in ancient times.

The programme is extensive, and we're delighted to be able to share with you a glimpse of the values of our civilisation.

Thank you very much!

Lydia MARGOSSIAN

MFA Republic of Western Armenia

https://youtu.be/pUz6kXnqcrI