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President Serzh Sargsyan visited the Mkhitarian Congregation at the St. Lazarus Island in Venice

14.12.2011

President Serzh Sargsyan visited the Mkhitarian Congregation at the St. Lazarus Island in Venice, met with the members of the Congregation and representatives of spiritual and cultural Armenian organizations of Italy.

At the Church of the Congregation, the President of Armenia lit a candle for the Republic of Armenia, Armenian Spyurk and Nagorno Karabakh. According to President Sargsyan, it is a source of pride and a great honor to announce to the members of Mkhitarian Congregation in Venice the commencing of the events dedicated to the 500th anniversary of Armenian book-printing.

In his remarks, President Serzh Sargsyan hailed activities of the devotees of the Congregation who carry on their patriotic mission at the St. Lazarus Island, underscored that thanks to their work for many years “light has been radiating” from the Island, and that light should be disseminated and employed. “We cannot be isolated from the global processes, cannot live isolated from other nations, we have to preserve in this swiftly changing world our identity, using opportunities provided by the rapidly changing world and glorifying our ancestors we should keep strong the Armenian roots of our youngsters. This is our primary task and, I believe, now, when the entire Armenian nation has historical motherland, has statehood, these issues can be solved much easier,” the President of Armenia said. Speaking about the events dedicated to the 500th anniversary of Armenian book-printing, President Sargsyan noted that celebrations are not only tribute to our ancestors but also present a great and nice opportunity to show others our values and our commitment to these values. “We, as a state, as representatives of our nation stand ready to help the Mkhitarian Congregation, all Armenian structures and those who bring their contribution to Armenia and the Armenian-Italian friendship,” President Sargsyan stressed. In his words, many would ask what is “Armenian phenomenon?”, is it the world-spread Armenian Spyurk? The President noted that he is convinced that the Armenian phenomenon is our ability through the centuries to recognize and employ everything that is progressive. That very ability stipulated that the Armenians were the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as state religion, invented alphabet, writing and literature long-long before any other nation and short after the invention of book-printing had been printing books in the Armenian. Serzh Sargsyan stressed the importance of the drive and guts which are coming from the ancestors, to be transferred to our young and to be carried on from generation to generation.

President Serzh Sargsyan responded also to the questions raised by the attendees. He noted that he was well aware of the problems faced by the Congregation, including the issue of digitalization. Serzh Sargsyan assured that the Government of Armenia will allot necessary funding to the Congregation to solve that issue. He said that the best way to preserve that valuable library is to digitalize it, as it is done in the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts – Matenadaran.

Today, at the Correr museum in Venice President Serzh Sargsyan participated at the opening of the “Armenia: Impressions of a Civilization” exhibition dedicated to the 500th anniversary of book-printing in Armenia. The President of Armenia thanked all those who have brought their participation to the organization of the exhibition, including the authorities of the Italian Republic, local administration of Venice, all state officials and diplomatic staff, those who have sacredly preserved the relics and, certainly, to the Correr Museum – one of the best museums in the world – for the implementation of this great and important project.

Later, President Sargsyan visited San Marco Cathedral of Venice and listened to the Armenian spiritual music concert.

Afterwards, at the Napoleon Hall of the Correr Museum, President Serzh Sargsyan will host an official dinner which will be attended by the specialists of the Armenian studies, who have arrived to Venice from different countries of the world to participate at the “Armenia: Impressions of a Civilization” exhibition.

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