Montebello Stepanakert Sister City Committee Presents Karabagh Rugs

EXHIBIT AND SALE at Montebello Armenian Center–Saturday–November 19

Proceeds to benefit Armenia Fund

MONTEBELLO–The Montebello-Stepanakert Sister City Committee has organized an exhibition and sale of carpets made in Mountainous Karabagh Republic in an effort to create greater cultural–educational–and economic ties between the two cities.

Proceeds from the free event will not only help bolster Karabagh’s economy–but will also be donated to the Armenia Fund–which organizes the annual Thanksgiving Telethon to provide assistance to Karabagh.

The hand woven carpets carry geometric designs passed down from generations of Armenian carpet weavers. The dimensions of the 100 percent wool carpets vary from 2×3 to 9×12 feet.

The newly established sister-city affiliation between Montebello and the city of Stepanakert–the capital of the Mountainous Karabagh Republic–will allow for cultural–educational–health care–and business exchange opportunities between the people of Montebello and the residents of Stepanakert who are recovering from the long struggle for independence from Azeri rule.

The relationship was formalized by unanimous vote on October 26–despite threats from Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the United States to the Montebello City Council.

Three weeks prior to the vote–Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the US–Hafiz Pashayev sent a letter of protest to the City Council–urging the Mayor to reconsider the sister-city relationship–claiming that the cultural relationship could damage US-Azeri foreign relations.

In a strongly worded response to Pashayev–Montebello mayor Bill Molinari stressed that sister-city relationships are not between governmen’s–but serve as cultural points of contact between the population of two cities.

The exhibit and sale will take place at the Montebello Armenian Center on Saturday–November 19–starting at 4:00 PM. For more information contact Serge Samoniantz at 626-674-1645.

The Montebello Armenian Center is located at 420 W. Washington Blvd. in Montebello–(at corner of 5th St.)

The ARTSAKH RUG Company

The development of the company that has created the carpets that will be exhibited–Artsakh Rug–parallels the reemergence and progress of the independent republic of Karabagh.

The Stepanakert Carpet Factory was the first company to be privatized in Karabagh–to become Artsakh Rug in 1999.

As one of the requiremen’s to privatization–the government asked that the number of employees not drop below the 25 workers already employed by the original factory.

In 2000–after a complete renovation and addition of a new exhibit hall–Artsakh Rug grew to employ 35 workers. Today–Artsakh Rug continues to expand and employs 50 locals.

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