Armenian Museum reopens in Jerusalem’s Old City – Times of India

Jerusalem: 100 years after a 19th-century orphanage counted the parents of children killed in the Armenian Genocide JerusalemThe Armenian Quarter has reopened its doors as a museum, documenting the community’s rich history.
Mardigian Museum Showcasing Armenian culture and telling of the community’s centuries-old connection to the holy city. At the same time, it is a memorial to the approximately 1.5 million Armenians killed by the Ottoman Turks around World War I, in what many scholars consider the first genocide of the 20th century.
Turkey denies the deaths from the massacre, saying the toll has been exaggerated and those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
the director Tzoghig Karakashian Said that the museum is meant to serve as “a passport to learn about the Armenian people” and understand their part of Jerusalem’s history.
The museum is due to reopen in late 2022 after a more than five-year renovation project. Prior to this, the building – originally a pilgrim guesthouse built in the 1850s – served as a monastery, an orphanage for children who survived the genocide, a seminary and eventually a small museum and library.
Jerusalem is home to a community of around 6,000 Armenians, many of them descendants of people who fled the genocide. Many live in one of the main quarters of the historic Old City, a mostly enclosed complex abutting the 12th-century Armenian Cathedral of St. James.
But Armenians’ association with the holy city dates back centuries to the late monks and pilgrims The Roman Empire Crusader to the Armenian queens of Jerusalem.
The museum’s centerpiece, filling a sunlit courtyard, is an exquisite 5th- or 6th-century mosaic decorated with exotic birds and vines, discovered in 1894 on the grounds of an ancient Armenian monastery complex. It bears an inscription in Armenian dedicated “to the memorial and salvation of all Armenians whose names God knows.”
For decades, the mosaic remained in a small museum near the Damascus Gate of the old city. In 2019, the Israeli Antiquities Authority and the Armenian Patriarchate undertook the painstaking work of removing the mosaic floor and moving it across town to the newly renovated museum.
From elaborately carved stone crosses known as “khakars”, to the iconic painted tiles and priests’ robes, the museum displays Armenian material art, while excelling in telling the Armenian story of survival. While Jerusalem changed hands as empires rose and fell, the Armenian people remained.
“To live is not to be seen,” said arek kahezian, a museum tour guide. “We survived without people knowing what or who we are, and today we feel ready to show and teach you about the history and heritage, the culture, and to show you how we’ve kept up with the times.” Let’s go ahead and modernize.”