On April 21st, 2015, the grand opening of the new exhibition of the Armenian Genocide Museum took place in the presence of the RA former President Serzh Sargsyan.
Hayk Demoyan, AGMI former Director, delivered a welcome speech and greeted the RA president, high-ranking officials, museum’s benefactors and other guests. In his speech AGMI former Director expressed his deepest gratitude to the RA former President Serzh Sargsyan, benefactors of the museum: Gabriel Chemberjian, founding President of “Pyunik” charitable foundation, Jevan Cheloyants, member of Council of Directors of “Spartak” club, Maxim Hakobyan, former General Director of Zangezur Copper Molybden Combine CJSC, Armen Shahazizyan, the founder of “Luding” company, Ralf Yirikian, General Manager of VivaCell MTS, Tigran Kalajian and Feliks Pirumyan, Advisor to the RA President, as well as to the entire staff of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.
Later on, the guests got acquainted with the new exhibition of the museum. During the guided tour, held by Hayk Demoyan, unique museum items were donated to the museum: Catherina Yamanda has donated a glass-bottle filled with grains of rice - the daily ration for the orphans in one of the Near East Relief Orphanages, and because of the lack of which the committee refused to accept thousands of children. There is a note on the bottle: “Help the Armenian orphans.” Jusy Biorn has donated the diary and stamp of her grandmother - a Norwegian missionary Bodil Biorn, and Sossi Hapeshyan donated the purse of a Danish missionary Maria Jacobsen with and photo of her while taking care of the orphans.
At the end of the visit the RA former President Serzh Sargsyan left a note in the memory book of honorary guests, which reads: “The new exhibition of the Armenian Genocide Museum, dedicated to the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, is really impressive, both in terms of coverage and presenting. Extensive and effective work has been done.
It seems that we, as Armenians, know everything about the Armenian Genocide, but such exhibitions reveal new layers and provide new information even to the most informed ones. As a visitor, coming out of the museum, I reaffirm what is in all our minds and lips: “I remember and demand.”
The RA former President also donated to the museum a unique volume - “Book of Lamentations by Monk Gregory of Narek from Van, Constantinople, 1850,” which was rescued during the deportation of 1915. A handwritten text on the coversheet of the book mentions that the book was purchased in one of the streets of Sebastia, during the deportation of the Armenian population in Sebastia. The buyer is Yervand Seraytarian, who left the following note: “Sebastia, 15 July 1915, I have bought this from the street for 12 ghrush. Almighty God, give us your blessings and have mercy upon us, grant us your good will, Amen. Yervand T. Seraytarian.” The book had belonged to the family of Karapet Chatrjian.
The general concept of the new exhibition was developed and implemented by the staff of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI) under leadership of Hayk Demoyan, Doctor of Historical Sciences, AGMI former director and Secretary of the State Commission on Coordination of the Events for the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. The interior design concept of the exhibitions halls were developed and implemented by Lusine Matevosyan and Christine Abrahamyan without any additional fee as a sign of the respect for the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims.
The development and implementation of design planning works of museum’s permanent exhibition were launched in 2011. The museum space is expanded by 2.5 times, offering 2400 sq/m. New technologies, design approaches and solutions widely used in the world museum practice are first applied in Armenia. The content solutions of the museum exhibitions, textual materials and explanatory notes are based on the recent scientific and methodological developments in the field of genocide studies. Trilingual textual materials and explanatory notes (Armenian, English and Russian) are the result of the joint and meticulous work of the AGMI staff. Some advisory support has been provided by the museum expert group, established by the State Commission on Coordination of the Events for the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
The permanent exhibition of the museum incorporates thousands of newly found materials acquired as a result of collection works carried out during the last 7-8 years. A part of the materials is presented in print, as well as through multimedia - projectors and touch-screens. Original and unique photos, books, documents and other items are also presented. The new exhibition space consists of twelve halls instead of former three and has 50 main titles.
The museum will also be replenished with audio-guides in Armenian, Russian, English, French, German, Turkish, Farsi and Arabic languages. They will enable to manage the visit of the large groups to the museum.
There is also a bookshop at the museum.