Conference dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Held in Yerevan

On October 11, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation was celebrated at the initiative of the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

The participants of the event laid flowers near the statue of Calouste Gulbenkian at the Alley of Benefactors located at the Oval Park in Yerevan.

Afterwards, the grand hall of the RA Ministry of Diaspora hosted the conference dedicated to the 60thanniversary of the establishment of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and held with the participation of RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, Director of the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Razmig Panossian, as well as scholars, intellectuals and guests.

Hakobyan in her emarks, among other things, said: “The year 1869 was a symbolic year for the Armenian people since it was the year in which great Armenians were born, including Hovhannes Tumanyan-the Poet of All Armenians, Levon Shant-the great playwright, Yervand Otyan- the master of satire, Komitas-the Mesrop Mashtots of Armenian song, Soghomon Tehleryan-the Armenian avenger and finally, Calouste Gulbenkian-the large oil magnate and great benefactor.

Indeed, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation fulfills the wishes and accomplishes the goals of Calouste Gulbenkian, which don’t recognize political and geographical boundaries and are a symbol of benevolence. Those wishes and goals are to create and disseminate high culture and to assist in the solution to several vital issues and problems that concern Armenia and all Diaspora Armenians.

Through his contributions, thousands of young Diaspora Armenians have received and continue to receive a secondary and higher education. Staying true to its founder’s goals, the Foundation is consistent with the implementation of school construction projects. Outstanding and socially disadvantaged Armenian schoolchildren and university students have benefited and continue to benefit from the scholarships granted by the Armenian Communities Department. With the support of the Armenian Communities Department, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has published over 750 Armenological works, of which 250 have been published in Armenia.

I would like to express special gratitude to the Foundation for the programs and projects that it has carried out in the field of education in Syria, especially over the past couple of years. Allow me to mention that there are 2,861 Armenian children attending 20 Armenian schools in Syria. They need our help. The Foundation covers the tuition fees for over 500 students of universities.”

President of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (NAS RA) Radik Martirosyan and Rector of Yerevan State University Aram Simonyan congratulated the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation on its anniversary and highly appreciated the pro-national activities of the Foundation.

Director of the Armenian Communities Department of the Gulbenkian Foundation Razmig Panossian stressed the fact that the great benefactor was guided by three principles that the Foundation has been guided by to this day-work silently, do a good job and know the goal. “Good deeds need to be done silently. When you do something, do it good. Know where you are going to reach,” the great Armenian would say.

Summing up the results of the past 60 years, Razmig Panossian stated that the important thing is to train people and provide the young generation with an education.

Vahram Gharakhanyan of NAS RA presented the charities of Calouste Gulbenkian. While Leading scientific worker of the Institute of History of the NAS RA Eduard Melkonyan delivered a speech entitled “Calouste Gulbenkian: “Only the Best””. And Dean of the Faculty of History at Yerevan State University Edik Minasyan gave a speech entitled “The Social and Political Activities of Calouste Gulbenkian”.

Summing up the results of the conference, the Minister of Diaspora attached importance to the examination and classification of Calouste Gulbenkian’s archives and the assessment of the great benefactor’s legacy ahead of the 150th birth anniversary of Calouste Gulbenkian.