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Obama’s Glendale visit prompts calls to permit display of Genocide-era rug

As President Obama visits the epicenter of the Armenian community in the United States, religious and community leaders will hold a press conference to call on the President to stop blocking the display of an Armenian Genocide-era rug woven by orphans of that crime against humanity. The rug, which took Armenian orphans 10 months to weave and has 4,404,206 individual knots, was presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1925.

The press conference in Glendale, California, will feature His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Western Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church; Raffi Haig Hamparian, Armenian National Committee of America, National Board Member; Berdj Karapetian, Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale Chapter, Chairman; Armenian American Leaders.

Armenian Americans across the U.S. are calling on President Obama to secure a prominent and permanent public display of a historic rug woven by Armenian Genocide orphans and presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1925, in appreciation for U.S. humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of Turkey’s murder of over 1.5 million Armenians from 1915-1923.

The ANCA campaign was initiated last month after The Washington Post reported that a planned December 16th Smithsonian Institution exhibit featuring the rug, organized in conjunction with the Armenian Cultural Foundation and the Armenian Rug Society, was abruptly cancelled when the White House, reversing an earlier affirmative decision, refused to lend the iconic symbol of American and Armenian shared heritage to the museum.

The Washington Post has covered the upcoming press conference. “Protesters will use President Obama’s fundraising trip to Southern California on Tuesday to highlight his refusal to live up to a campaign promise to recognize the Armenian genocide in Turkey nearly a century ago,” the article reads.

The paper reminds that the rug, which is held in storage by the White House, was given in appreciation for U.S. humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of Turkey’s murder of more than 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923.

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