The year 2024 will be “exceptional for Armenia in France”, with the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Charles Aznavour and other events, the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul-Malak, told AFP. trip to Yerevan.

“In 2024 we have an exceptional year for Armenia in France, allowing us to strengthen our cultural ties,” declared the French minister, reached by telephone from Paris. Charles Aznavour, who died in 2018, is the most famous representative of the numerous Armenian community in France. He was born in Paris on May 22, 1924. During the first trip by a French Minister of Culture to Armenia, Ms. Abdul-Malak discussed the celebrations with her counterpart Janna Andréassian on Thursday and is due to do so on Friday with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian . She was also able to discuss the entry into the Pantheon, on February 21, of the resistance fighter Missak Manouchian.

“The announcement of his pantheonization had a huge impact here. He is a very important figure. We visited a small exhibition dedicated to him in Yerevan, where there were schoolchildren, and were able to see how the memory is transmitted to young Armenians,” explained Ms. Abdul Malak. The year 2024 is also the centenary of filmmaker Sergei Paradjanov, “less known in France, but who has inspired generations of Armenian artists”. In the ministerial delegation, the president of the Louvre museum, Laurence des Cars, came to speak with the Armenian museums about cooperation with a view to the opening to the public, planned around 2027, of a new department, that of the Arts of Byzantium and of Christendom in the East.

Also read History of Armenia: two centuries of anguish and struggle of a people for its survival

“This new department will be linked to those of Roman Antiquities and Islamic Arts, with points of contact which will reflect the historical and geographical reality of these encounters between cultures. And Armenia illustrates this very well,” Ms. des Cars told AFP. The visit began Thursday morning with a time of contemplation at the memorial to the victims of the Armenian genocide in Yerevan. It takes place as Nikol Pashinian said on Thursday that he hoped for a peace agreement with Azerbaijan “in the coming months”, after Baku’s military victory in September against the Armenian separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The French songwriter of Armenian origin André Manoukian, also in the delegation, welcomed “the commitment of the French government, essential in these times, with a real existential threat for Armenia, and of the Armenians who tell us that the more foreign leaders come to Armenia, the better it will be, including for their security.”