September 6, 2012 - 10:29 AMT
ANI expands Armenian Genocide memorials data base

The Armenian National Institute (ANI) announced a further expansion of its website with a significant update to the database it maintains on Armenian Genocide memorials.

ANI has periodically updated the database as information arrived at the Institute about new memorials. This year a broader investigation identified the existence of 31 additional memorials. Documentation on some memorials remains sparse, but the new count indicates the existence of 166 memorials dedicated to the Armenian Genocide in 31 countries: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Syria, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The memorials range from simple plaques and single cross-stones (khachkars) to monumental sculptures and entire edifices, with many placed in Armenian church yards and others in public parks, and in small towns to large cities where survivors of the Armenian Genocide and their descendants created new communities.

Beyond the 28 memorials identified in Armenia, in the diaspora the largest number of memorials is to be found in France with 36, followed by the 30 counted in the United States.

The oldest memorials are located in Lebanon, with the ossuary chapel on the grounds of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias as the centerpiece monument of this important community.

It is noteworthy that no memorial dedicated to the Armenian Genocide is located in Turkey, neither remembering the ancient and vibrant communities across Anatolia that have utterly vanished, nor indicating the documented locations where atrocities were committed. No memorial recalls the hundreds of Armenian community leaders who were summarily arrested on April 24, 1915, and sent to their exile in Anatolia, many to their places of execution, through the Haydarpasha train station, a massive building still standing in the district of Kadikoy on the Asian shore of the city of Istanbul.

The Armenian Genocide Memorials Database was first created as part of a larger memorial database project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, with assistance from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The database was developed in tandem with the Legacy Project that documents the artistic legacy of genocide and trauma, and which includes a valuable index of artworks addressing the Armenian Genocide.

The memorials database remains a work in progress and ANI welcomes any additional information or digital images that viewers can provide.

Founded in 1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501(c)3 educational charity based in Washington, DC, and is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.