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Armenia President attends Aurora Prize Ceremony at St. Lazar's Island

10-10-2021, 12:09 Armenia
Armenia President attends Aurora Prize Ceremony at St. Lazar's Island


10 October 2021, 12:09 - NovostiNK
During his visit to Italy, President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian and his wife, Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian attended the 2021 Aurora Prize Ceremony at St. Lazar’s Island in Venice, one of the major hearths of Armenian cultural and religious heritage, the President’s Staff reports.

The annual Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity was granted to human rights defender Julien Lusenge during the sixth annual award ceremony.

During the official dinner following the award ceremony, President Sarkissian expressed gratitude to the founders of Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, noting that the latter has become not only a major event, but also a major institution in only a few years since its establishment.

“I express my gratitude to those who launched this. The establishment of the Initiative is already a major achievement. I also take pride in the fact that the movement was launched by three Armenians, including Ruben Vardanyan, Noubar Afeyan and Vartan Gregorian. All three have achieved great heights in their careers, but they did a special job by establishing the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative,” Sarkissian said, adding that even though Vartan Gregorian passed away in 2021, his legacy lives on and will always live on.

Talking about the holding of the award ceremony at St. Lazar’s Island, President Sarkissian said this place is important and symbolic for the Armenian people. “More than 300 years ago, a small group of Armenians settled here without anything in order to avoid the Ottoman Turks’ persecutions, but they were Armenians, who had survived and were strong. Coming to St. Lazar’s Island, they did the impossible. In some sense, it is safe to say that they created the first “offshore zone”, which served the people by consolidating educated people, creating resources and enhancing Venice and the Congregation. As a result, here at the Congregation we have one of the richest collections of Armenian manuscripts and exclusive samples of arts,” Sarkissian said.

President Sarkissian also stated that one of the halls of the presidential residence in Armenia will be converted into a library and will be named in memory of co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, longstanding Savior of the New York Public Library and President of the Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian.



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