Catholicos Of All Armenians Karekin II took part in the official opening ceremony of the “Armenia!” exhibition at the Metropolitan museum of art
On September 24th His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, took part in the official opening ceremony of the “Armenia!” exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
This unique exhibition has been in preparation for several years and presents more than 140 relics and artifacts – loaned from the Museums of Hierarchical Sees of the Armenian Apostolic Church, History Museum of Armenia, Matenadaran (Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts), as well as various other museums across Diaspora communities. The great majority of the relics and artifacts displayed in the exhibition represent works that have been created or saved by the Armenian Church and its devoted clergymen over many centuries.
In the scope of the ceremony, His Holiness Karekin II had exchanges with the Museum’s leadership, as well as Dr Helen C. Evans, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art and the chief curator of the “Armenia!,” and thanked them for their great service in organising the wonderful exhibition. The Catholicos also thanked the donors, national benefactors and representatives of national-church institutions for their sponsorship of the exhibition.
In the words of the organisers, the exhibition demonstrates -- through opulent gilded reliquaries, richly illuminated manuscripts, rare textiles, cross stones (khachkars), precious liturgical furnishings, church models, and printed books -- how Armenians developed a unique Christian identity that linked their widespread communities over the years.
The Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II offered his blessings and the message to the participants of the opening ceremony in a short statement, which in part reads:
The cultural objects and Christian relics displayed in this exhibition, indeed, offer the genuine feeling of the values that our first Christian nation created and that we have cherished over centuries”.
“We have protected and saved everything that defines us as a people and as a nation – our homeland, our language, our churches, our literature, our shrines and faith. Our faith, our national church, has enabled Armenians to secure our uninterrupted national development even during the dark ages of statelessness”.
“And here we are today: a modern nation that proudly displays the richness of her God-given cultural heritage at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York – to step into our deserved place among the great nations of the world”.
In the conclusion of his remarks, His Holiness extended his appreciation to all friends of the Republic of Armenia, and as a sign of Armenian people's gratitude decorated Dr Evans with the high honors of the Armenian Apostolic Church – the Order of St Sahak and St Mesrop.
The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, clergymen of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America led by Diocesan Primate the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Armenian General Benevolent Union’s President Berge Setrakian, Armenian national benefactors, representatives of Armenian community organisations and community members in New York.
The exhibition is made possible by The Hagop Kevorkian Fund.
Additional support is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Michel David-Weill Fund, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, The Giorgi Family Foundation, The Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation, the Karagheusian Foundation, The Nazar and Artemis Nazarian Family, the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, The Strauch Kulhanjian Family and The Paros Foundation, Aso O. Tavitian, and the National Endowment for the Arts.