Genocide Memorial Unveiled in Grenoble; Turkish Government Protests

GRENOBLE (Noyan Tapan–ArmenPress–Deutsche Presse-Agentur)–The local government of the city of Grenoble hosted the unveiling of an Armenian Genocide memorial June 5.

Present at the unveiling were state senators and representatives–city officials–Grenoble consul generals–and representatives of international organizations.

In his opening statemen’s at the unveiling–French National Assembly representative Michel Tesdon said–"this memorial stands for the struggle for peace and freedom in the world. It remembers the victims of the Armenian Genocide. And recognizing genocides is not the only compensation the world can give to martyred peoples. We must also demand a struggle against the denial or distortion of genocide history. The biggest crime is staying silent."

Renowned French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour also gave his support for the memorial–along with many other city and state officials and actors.

Armenian ambassador to France Edward Nalbandian thanked France for accepting Armenia’s who survived the horrors of the beginning of the century. He also thanked the city of Grenoble for accepting a khachkar and displaying it at a local park.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry Tuesday expressed regret at the unveiling of the monument.

"It is obvious that [this action] aims to spoil relations [between Turkey and France]," a statement by the Foreign Ministry said.

Claiming that studies of the Ottoman archives by Turkish and foreign historians had not found any proof of an Armenian genocide–the ministry said certain French establishmen’s were engaged in activities aimed at distorting the harmony and equality between societies.

The statement also claimed that the role of Armenian officials in the establishment of the monument would not help "peace–welfare and stability in the region."

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