Glendale News Press, CA
April 30 2014

April 30, 2014 | 9:07 a.m.

The White House has agreed to exhibit a rug made by Armenian orphans
in the near future, likely this fall, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)
said on Wednesday.

The rug, which was woven by orphans of the Armenian Genocide in 1920,
was presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 as a symbol of
gratitude for American aid and generosity for U.S. assistance during
the genocide.

Measuring 11 feet, 7 inches by 18 feet, 5 inches, the Armenian Orphan
rug has more than 4,000,000 hand-tied knots and took the Armenian
girls in the Ghazir Orphanage of the Near East Relief Society 10
months to weave.

At the time, President Coolidge noted that, "The rug has a place of
honor in the White House where it will be a daily symbol of goodwill
on earth."

The rug - which has been in storage at the White House for decades -
was supposed to be released for exhibition in a Smithsonian event
for the launch of Hagop Martin Deranian's new book "President Calvin
Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug."

Unfortunately, the rug was not able to be displayed at that time.

"Since first raising this issue with the administration, I have worked
diligently with the White House to find a way for the Ghazir rug to be
sensitively and appropriately displayed," said Schiff in a statement.

"Today, I'm pleased to be able to say that planning is underway
for the Armenian Orphan Rug to be displayed as early as this fall,"
he added. "I have worked out with the White House that the display
will take place in a venue that is open to the general public, and
I appreciate their willingness to place this significant artifact on
display for all to see."

Schiff and Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) sent a letter, along with 31
other Congressional members, to President Obama last year urging the
administration to allow exhibition of the rug.

"The Armenian Orphan Rug is a piece of American history and it belongs
to the American people," the letter stated. "For over a decade,
Armenian-American organizations have sought the public display of
the rug and have requested the White House and the State Department
grant their request on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, Armenian
Americans have yet to have their requests granted.We urge you to
release this American treasure for exhibition."

-- Mark Kellam, [email protected],0,395109.story