Save the Armenian Museum of France
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The Armenian Museum of France was inaugurated in Paris in 1953 in the presence of the President of the French Republic. It is home to many priceless works, some of which have been exhibited at the Louvre museum. The collections held in the museum were compiled by the descendants of the victims of 1915 genocide and were donated to the French state in 1978. They are recognized as public works. Today, the Armenian Museum is on the cusp of disappearing.
We ask that the state respects the legacy that it was given and authorises the reopening of the Armenian Museum of France.
A highly sought-after exhibition space...
In August 2011, the Ministry of Culture asked the Armenian Museum of France to temporarily move its collections due to renovation work that was taking place in the building where it was housed. The museum was reassured that a return to the same space would be permitted once the work was completed in May 2012.
The renovation work is now finished but the Armenian Museum has been prohibited from returning to the building. The Ministry of Culture have refused to release the rooms and they are now being used for storage.
The museum has launched an appeal and contacted all of the relevant State services demanding that the commitment be honoured. So far, there has been no response.
More worryingly, in early 2014, the locks to the building were changed without prior warning: access is now impossible and no one knows what has happened to some of the collections that remained inside the building.
The Armenian Museum of France bears witness to the History of a Population.
This unique cultural testimony that illustrates 3000 years of History and holds nearly 1,200 works, some of which were given at the risk of life by genocide survivors, will disappear.
Today, this cultural heritage is in danger of disappearing completely. The State is refusing to answer questions yet preparations are being made to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Armenian genocide in 2015.
Mrs Nyssen, in the name of History, in the name of Culture, in the name of respecting the legacies that were accepted and received by France, please ensure the reopening of the Armenian Museum of France.
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