The British Museum: Stop the Misrepresentation of Armenian Heritage as  "Ancient Turkey"
  • Petitioned Mr. Neil MacGregor
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

The British Museum
Mr. Neil MacGregor
See response
The British Museum
Mr. Jonathan N. Tubb, FSA Keeper Middle East
The British Museum
Department of the Middle East

The British Museum: Stop the Misrepresentation of Armenian Heritage as "Ancient Turkey"

    1. Gagik Avagyan
    2. Petition by

      Gagik Avagyan

      Toronto, Canada

July 2013


Gagik Avagyan: The Museum did change the name and this is how it looks like now! There was never an"Ancient Turkey" at all, Turkey was established in 1920-23, Ottoman Empire was established in 15-th Century. I'm not completely happy about the outcome, but it's a VICTORY.

The British Museum is misinforming visitors about the artefacts displayed in Raymond and Beverly Sackler Gallery No. 54, claiming they originated from “Ancient Turkey”. Our complaint is with regard to the artefacts of the Armenian cultural heritage, and in particular from the period of the Kingdom of Urartu, which are of great cultural value to Armenians and their history. The museum prescribes the artefacts dating back to the 9th to 6th century BC to “Ancient Turkey”, while copper and bronze age to “Pre-Historic Turkey”. Even the burnished wine jugs excavated from Karmir Blur, present day Republic of Armenia, are displayed in this gallery under the title “Ancient Turkey”. Since Turkey as a country, or its people - for that matter, did not exist prior to the 15th century AD, when writing or speaking about ancient times, the terminology “Ancient Turkey” is incorrect and irrelevant.

The Middle East keeper of the British Museum, Mr Jonathan Tubb, accepts the nonsensical character of the term, but justifies its use by pointing out that their aim is to make the Museum's signage as simple and accessible as possible and avoid terms that would not be immediately apparent to non-English speakers; as many of our visitors come here from abroad.” He then adds, “When borders or country titles change we will change accordingly." First of all, this explanation is groundless and not objective, since Room 55 is entitled Mesopotamia and Room 57-59 - Ancient Levant. If the statement were true then the above mentioned rooms should have been called Ancient Iraq and Ancient Syria respectively. Secondly, such a statement is a direct offense to both the visitors, who are perceived as ignorant, as well as to the bearers of cultural heritage that is on display at the museum. As an educational institution the role of the British Museum is to educate their visitors about the true origin of art and culture and their creators. By falsifying the history and misleading the visitors, the British Museum is losing credibility as an institution that conserves exhibits of historical importance. This is an unacceptable distortion and revisionism of history. Therefore, we demand that the truth and justice be restored!


“It is a coinage that will please Turkish individuals and organisations of extremist or ultranationalist sympathies, who periodically launch murder raids on non-Turkish individuals and communities.”

Christopher J. Walker
Author, Armenia: the survival of a nation
Visions of Ararat: Writings about Armenia
Islam and the West


"Why is truth important? Few things could be more damaging to cultural memory and  our understanding of historical change than the policy of describing all places and regions in terms of their present political constitution: "When borders or country titles change we will change accordingly." Does the BM really say that Roman London was located in England? What matters is the political and cultural constitution of place and region at the time whence the displayed artefacts are derived. It is precisely when borders and country's titles change that history is needed to bear witness to how things were: to show us at least the rudiments of the past. Anachronism is the very ignorance of history. Yet the BM seems to be making a principle of anachronism."

Charles Lock 
Professor of English Literature

University of Copenhagen, Department of English, German and Roman Studies


Mr. Neil MacGregor, The British Museum
Mr. Jonathan N. Tubb, FSA Keeper Middle East, The British Museum
Department of the Middle East, The British Museum
Stop the Misrepresentation of Armenian Heritage as "Ancient Turkey"

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. We have a small Victory! Thank you All for your Support!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      Latest Armenian Article is claiming, that the British Museum have Changed the name of Room 54 to "Anatolia / Urartu"!
      I'm attaching the link bellow, you can use translating cervices to read the Article. But online room 54 page is still named as old "Ancient Turkey" let's hope this will be changed as well!
      I would like to personally thank every one who signed this Petition,
      Updates will posted

    2. 12,085 signatures! Thank you all for your support!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      Here is a latest news from the Museum..... NONE!
      Please keep up your support, share this petition on every social network and ask your friends to participate.
      Thank you again, for your continues support!

    3. Great News Dear supporters!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      Gagik Avagyan and 11,454 Petitioners, have a Question.
      Dear Mr. Neil MacGregor, The Institute of History is ready to present scientific information on the discussed matter with regards to the presentation of gallery 54 of the British Museum, are you willing to cooperate with Mr. Ashot Melkonian, the Director of the Institute of History of the Academy of the Science of Armenian Republic?
      The official Letter from Ashot Melkonian, the Director of the Institute of History of the Academy of the Science of Armenian Republic to The British Museum, sent to recipient via Mail!

    4. British Mseum removed my post!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states –

      ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.’

      Where is our Rights to Dignity (History and Truth)?
      Here is the link to the Museum's FB page they removed this post!
      another attempt to hide their childish responses and not to act in good fate.
      It's showing a weakness British Museum and their Middle East keepers baseless "hypothesis" of "Ancient Turkey" and their "settled lifestyle"!

      Here is the screen capture of the post and their reply!

    5. Dear Petitioners, 10,400 and counting Supporters and Growing!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      Another childish attempt to misguide their petitioners and try to "justify" their misrepresentation, in the answer to Armenian Facebook user British Museum is now on their page trying to mislead! Stating this is the "Marketing Guy" responsible for "Ancient Turkey" sign.
      Check this screen capture and judge for yourselves.
      Mr. MacGregor and Mr. Jonathan M. Tubb, why so unprofessional?
      Why you are not taking responsibility for your letters and your own words?
      Why are you Hiding behind "Marketing Guy"?
      He didn't write for you or Sign your letters!
      Who is that, your next "guilty Guy", the Janitor?
      Who you think we should Direct this Petition?
      Is there not enough people signed yet?
      Why are you discrediting your so Important Institution name?
      FOR WHAT?

    6. 10,015 signatures and counting!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Supporters, I would like to Thank each and everyone of you, most importantly to Non-Armenians, who supported our cause!
      This is not only very important to Armenians, but the World History itself, this is a gross violation of Human Rights and denial of People of their rights of Homeland and History! If Armenian history is violated in such way, and we don't fix this what will happen to the rest of Nations, who are assimilated and perished?
      This Babylonian map is showing the early countries and it's in the British Museum. Clearly you can see, the name Armenia there, how come this map is ignored by the same institution?
      Is there a hidden agenda?

      Above post removed from British museum's Facebook page. Here is the screen capture, check it out:

    7. Reached 10,000 signatures
    8. 9000 and growing supporters!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      We Armenians are very humbled and grateful to Non-Armenians and thank you for your Kind support in our struggle.
      We also would like to remind to British Museum and Mr, Jonathan M. Tubb, that 1.5 million and more Armenians can't sign, because of the Armenian Genocide.
      Here you can watch Prof. Uğur Üngör making a presentation of his book.

      Prof. Uğur Üngör Ermeni Soykırımı Sırasında Yaşanan Haciz Olaylarını Anlatıyor - (2012)

      Soykırım Eğitim Projesi, Profesör Uğur Üngör'ün konuyla ilgli bir sunumuna ev sahipliği yaptı. Üngör'ün konuşması, yakın zamanda yayımlanan kitapları, Batı Ermenistan'ın nasıl Türkiye'nin parçasına dönüştürüldüğüne değinen Çağdaş Türkiye'nin İnşaası (The Making of Modern Turkey) ve Türkiye'nin Ermeni mallarına el koymasını anlatan Haciz ve Yıkım (Confiscation and Destruction) kitaplarını temel almaktadır.

    9. Reached 9,000 signatures
    10. 8538 Signatures and counting!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      Dear supporters, We have an update, from British Museum, it was short e-mail just one word:

      On behalf of:
      Mr. Neil MacGregor
      The British Museum.
      Thank you again for taking your precious time and joining us in this important struggle.
      We would like to know, Dear Mr Neil McGregor if the issue with "Ancient Turkey" has been resolved.
      8538 petitioners

    11. Decision-maker Mr. Neil MacGregor responds:

    12. 8008 Signatures and counting!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      THANK you for your continuous support. I especially would like to thank to all Non - Armenians, who Sincerely supported this cause!
      I followed up to the logic of the sign in British Museum, and the response of Mr. Jonathan M. Tubb, made a "discovery", that if (God Forbid) they are right, then these new maps and "research" I have come up with are as "correct" as "Ancient Turkey". It's a satire, and if anyone offended, don't blame me please sign this petition, to correct it all!
      Check it out and see it for yourself....

    13. Reached 8,000 signatures
    14. 7275 Votes and counting!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for your continues Support! We all Armenians are very Grateful for your support
      I also would like to see, where in This petition they find any "quotes recently attributed to British Museum staff are entirely untrue and fabricated – these views do not represent the Museum. As stated in our social media protocols, we will remove any offensive comments which refer to these fictitious claims."
      Is this one are they referring to?

    15. Reached 7,000 signatures
    16. 6135 and counting!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      I would like to thank you all, for your support, and your comments!
      We, Armenians are Grateful to all who with us joined their voices to the blatant falsification of the truth.
      I have to add one of many great comments and reasons for signing, from Chile, (reminding Mr. Jonathan M. Tubb, that Chile is in South America).
      Here it goes:
      Francisco Almeras, VIñA DEL MAR, CHILE

      History can't be manipulated like that. Armenians deserve their respect and admiration for being a culture that is able to stand against the unfairness of the globalized world and the oppression of a country named Turkey. Armenians are teaching us how to vocalize our life in an attempt to restore their origins.
      Thank you!

    17. Reached 6,000 signatures
    18. 5580 times thank you!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      They are betting on the divisiveness and internal conflicts we have had as people. We unite and we re-establish truth and memory of our ancestors. We lay the foundation of solidarity and togetherness based on truth and comradeship, and all these falsifications will go away. Recognize and let go of all the inferiority complexes we have developed though hundreds of years of foreign domination. Let go of the cognitive dissonance that hinders our vision and thinking faculties. What is it going to be? The answer will determine our fate.

      Vahan Setyan

      Author, "Enigma of the Armenian Alphabet: Letters, Protons and Paradoxes."

      Enigma of the Armenian Alphabet: Letters, Protons and Paradoxes: Bilingual Edition by Vahan Setyan (Paperback) - Lulu

      Buy Enigma of the Armenian Alphabet: Letters, Protons and Paradoxes: Bilingual Edition by Vahan Setyan (Paperback) online at Lulu. Visit the Lulu Marketplace for product details, ratings, and reviews.

    19. 5580 supporters and counting!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      [They] have spent and continue to do so, millions of dollars to falsify information because of two primary reasons.

      1. They are new comers to the Armenian historic lands and they have conquered those very lands through plunder and pillage. Now, due to geopolitical forces, consequences, and the inherited guilt, they will try to grasp those who are ignorant enough to accept their falsified history.

      2. They continue to falsify because the Armenians have been in darkness and silence for a very long time including the genocides, economic difficulties, etc., which have kept them from sufficiently protecting their ancestral heritage and culture. The Turks have seized these opportunities to fill in this gap with superficial lies through consistent repetition. As Adolf Hitler was believed to have said, "if you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

      - Vahan Setyan
      Author, "Enigma of the Armenian Alphabet: Letters, Protons and Paradoxes."

    20. 5214 and counting - Re: "buregrs as German invention". Mr. Tubb

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      With a pathetic attempt to win his argument, Professor Jonathon N. Tubb from the British Museum responded to our petition by giving a foolish hamburger analogy. “I like burgers and I want the world to acknowledge burgers as a German invention, not an american one. Fries yes, they are french. Burgers are not!”

      Now I begin to question the integrity of the British Museum for employing an ill-mannered individual such as Tubb and furthermore, allowing him to handle the matters of this petition. It is almost unbelievable to think that such a statement would be made from a person of his caliber. Comparing hamburgers and French fries to the historical facts that pertain to this topic is a direct insult to Armenians all over the world. What’s next Professor Tubb? Perhaps you will deny the Armenian Genocide?

      British Museum: Please save yourself from further disgrace by putting someone else in charge of public relations.

    21. Reached 5,000 signatures
    22. 4750 Supporters and counting!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      I would like to say Thank you all who supported this cause!
      Updates are coming soon!

    23. 4551 and counting Supporters!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      In addition to the petition, please stop by and read!
      Arman Grigoryan Dear BM according to this article from Wikipedia you are committing Genocide as I type these words.
      Lemkin defined genocide as follows: "Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups."
      Thank you all for your support, Gagik Avagyan.

      Genocide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Genocide is "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars.

    24. Decision-maker Jonathan N. Tubb, FSA Keeper Middle East responds:

      Jonathan N. Tubb, FSA Keeper Middle East

      I like burgers and I want the world to aknowlege burgers as a german invention, not an american one. Fries yes, they are french. Burgers are not!

    25. 4000 supporters and counting!

      Gagik Avagyan
      Petition Organizer

      I would like to thank you all who have signed this petition and would say Thank you from bottom of my hearth!
      It is very humbling, to see so many people around the world land their support for the truth!
      We Armenians are very Grateful to all who is joining us for the TRUTH and part of History of mankind.


    Reasons for signing

    • Hayk Hovsepyan YEREVAN, ARMENIA
      • over 1 year ago

      its my heritage

    • Tigran Alexanian Вайк, ARMENIA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because I'm Armenian, it's our culture, which can state every true historian.

      • over 1 year ago

      I have visited Armenia and researched its history. It is a highly cultured land dating milenia before the state of Turkey. Armenia also holds distinction of being the oldest Christian state

    • Lynne De Boer SAN JOSE, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      I have a dear dear friend that feels quite strongly about this, being Armenian herself. I see so many groups misrepresented in my own country and it dilutes that particular culture horribly. It is important to have pride in your heritage and to have it swept into an entirely different thing or category is just wrong in so many ways. There is so much turmoil in our world these days that we are hanging on to threads of our own cultures just to keep them alive.

    • Greta Melkonyan Ереван, ARMENIA
      • over 1 year ago

      For historical truth


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