On 22 February, the delegation led by the Minister of Culture of Italy Gennaro Sangiuliano visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial accompanied by Alfred Kocharian, Deputy Minister of the RA ESCS, Arkadi Papoyan, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations and Diaspora, RA Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Italy Tsovinar Hambardzumyan, and Italian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to RA Alfonso Di Rizzo.
The guests were welcomed by AGMI Director Harutyun Marutyan, who narrated the history of the creation of the Memorial. He also presented the guests with the history of the three khachkars placed in the Tsitsernakaberd area in memory of the Armenians who died in the massacres in the cities of Sumgait, Kirovabad (Gandzak) and Baku in the last century organised by the Azerbaijani government, and the stories of the five freedom fighters buried in front of Hushapat during the Artsakh war, emphasizing the connection between what happened and the Armenian Genocide.
Mr. Gennaro Sangiuliano laid a wreath at the Genocide monument after which the members of the accompanying delegation put flowers at the Eternal Fire and observed a minute’s silence in memory of the innocent martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.
Harutyun Marutyan also told them about Hushapat, at the back of which, in special niches, in small jugs, soil taken from the graves of a number of foreign public figures, politicians, intellectuals and missionaries are being placed, who raised their voice of protest against the mass massacres of Armenians and genocide carried out by the Turkish government in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
They also toured the Armenian Genocide Museum accompanied by AGMI senior guide Anjel Tevekelyan, becoming acquainted with the permanent and temporary exhibitions there.
At the end of the visit, head of the AGMI Victims and Survivors’ Documentation and Research Department Shushan Khachatryan presented to the guests the exclusive documents about Father Salvatore Lilli (1853-1895), which were donated to the Armenian Genocide Museum a few months ago by the RA Embassy in Italy. In those documents, Salvatore Lilli, as an eyewitness, also describes the atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian population by the Ottoman Empire.