by David Stepanyan

Thursday, April 21, 13:58

Interview of Director of Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk
Demoyan with ArmInfo news agency

What events id your Museum-Institute preparing for 24 April?

In April 2011 before the Armenian Genocide Day in Ottoman Empire
the International Conference "Armenian Genocide and Reaction of
Scandinavia" will be held in Yerevan. Besides the conference, the
temporary exposition will be held in our museum in Yerevan on 23
April. We expect guests from Denmark,Sweden and Norway, among which
will be experts, tourists and representatives of authorities of
these countries. One of the conceptual approaches of the museum is
to present the topic of the Genocide in the context of the history
and memory of the specific nation and state. In this case, we have
covered specific geographical region, that is to say, we watch the
linking lines of the Armenian genocide with history and memory of
Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Does the law on recognition of the Armenian genocide adopted by the
Swedish parliament recently play any part in it?

It plays absolutely no part. Our museum is a humanitarian object. We
have no political goals. We have chosen Scandinavia, as this year
the known humanist Fridtjof Nansen will become 150 year old. Just
thanks to Nansen many Armenian refugees, victims of the Genocide,
returned to Armenia having got an opportunity of free movement with
a help of the Nansen passports. Our museum is going to issue the
limited number of the Nansen medals.

Will you please present the details?

Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute has started issuing of medals
"100 issues" dedicated to the people that showed humanitarian aid to
Armenian people. Our museum is going to issue Nansen medal...Political
leaders, missionaries, intellectuals, there are many of them, but we
have decided to use the forthcoming 100 mourning anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide and issue 100 names of medal each with 100 copies.

The medal will be dedicated not only to specific people but also to
specific organizations. The museum will open temporary expositions
in Buenos-Aires, Los-Angeles, Oslo, Stockholm, Paris and Geneva. It
is very much important for us if the topic of the genocide goes out
of the borders of Tsitsernakaberd. For this reason, we shall open
our expositions in as many countries as possible. Every year we
open 2-3 extremely interesting and new expositions, new photos and
visualization ways using new technical options. Naturally, we have
difficulties including the financial ones, but we are trying not to
connect our work with these difficulties.

What about your plans for 2012?

In 2012 the museum is going to double the volume of the temporary
expositions in abroad. Their geography will be also extended, thanks
to Russia. The Russians have to understand the role of the Armenian
genocide in the all-Russian memory and history

What about the programmes for 2015, the 100 anniversary of the
Armenian genocide?

The exposition of the museum will be extended and the number of the
rooms for the digitalized materials increased...All our exponents
will be digitalized and placed in Internet for free access. There are
certain difficulties in the process but we hope to overcome them. It is
very much important for us not to centralize the Genocide topic only
in Tsitsernakaberd. Actually, we are the only museum of the Armenian
genocide which has been investigated the issue on the scientific level,
but unfortunately, we have a great potential in this direction which
is not used. The time has come for Armenia and Diaspora to create
the joint working group in which the state will also take part. But
unfortunately, only the museum is interested in the joint cooperation
with Diaspora.

The domestic political forces of Armenia seem to come to consensus in
the matter of the Armenian-Turkish relations. What do you think of it?

Stemming from the fact that the "Road map" was suddenly adopted in
April 2008 and the protocols were also suddenly signed, I don't
rule out sharp movements for reanimation of the Armenian-Turkish
process. I don't rule out the fact of pressure upon Turkey in that
case. At present, talking to Armenia from the position of force
Turkey has fully disowned itself not only in the Armenian-Turkish
but also the Karabakh process. We were expecting quite different
thing but Ankara failed the exam. There are people in Armenia which
think he is a traitor, as he accepted the Turkish idea on creation
of the sub-commission on the Genocide issue, but I am just the man
to protect the topic of the Genocide. Actually, neutralizing of
information threats of Turkey was the most important in his position.

At present I have fulfilled my task. I am sure that stemming from
the position of Turkey, which used pressing towards Armenia, the
Zurich Protocols do not give an opportunity for them to lay on the
basis of establishment of normal relations between our countries. For
this reason, Armenia should unilaterally leave the process referring
to destructiveness of Turkey. Nobody will blame us for something,
since Ankara itself has devaluate the process and the Protocols.

Over the last two years on the threshold of 24 April all Armenians
are waiting what Obama will say. This year everything is silent...

It has already become a rule, but an exclusion that US presidents,
including Barack Obama, promise to pronounce the word Genocide but
do not do that. For this reason, it is time to stop self-deceit. But
I would like to watch this issue in the context of the other failed
initiatives, for instance, discussion of the resolution of the Genocide
in US Congress, which traditionally does not take place at the last
moment. This is a very dangerous tendency, when people, which make
political decisions, where and how to direct the protest or lobbying,
do not account their real resources, and finally lose. This contains
many risks, as this very much important issue for Armenians is reduced
to the level of the street protest action. For this reason, people
involved in this issue should finally understand that the strictly
expressed strategy, which takes into account specific realities,
resources and results, is the most important in this matter. If we
don't have all this, such failures will be permanent.

From: A. Papazian