A monument called "Lanterns of Memory" (Les Réverbères de la Mémoire), which is composed of nine tall bronze street light poles, was inaugurated in Switzerland to honor the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, 10 years after the project was first approved, Tribune de Genève reports.
Authored by French contemporary artist of Armenian origin Melik Ohanian, the project in Geneva’s Trembley Park pays tribute to the links between Geneva and the Armenian community.
More than 500 people had gathered in the park to follow the opening of the monument, when French Armenian crooner and Armenia’s ambassador to Switzerland Charles Aznavour appeared to deliver short remarks.
Those delivering speeches, including artist Ohanian, recalled the obstacles the lamps met since 2008, when the Geneva City Council unanimously voted in favor of the realization of the project.
Back in 2014, a letter from Swiss Foreign Minister and serving Swiss President, Didier Burkhalter, addressed to the canton of Geneva, recommended turning down the construction of a memorial, “Les Réverbères de la Mémoire”.
The Geneva city authorities, however, remained determined to erect the eight-meter bronze memorial.
The Swiss House of Representatives recognized the systemic massacre and exile of Armenians from their homeland by Ottoman Turks as Genocide in 2003.