After long decades in storage, and following Congressional pressure and a nationwide ANCA grassroots campaign to secure its release, the White House is displaying the Armenian Orphan Rug, failing to note that the historic artifact was woven by Armenian Genocide survivors and gifted to President Coolidge in appreciation for U.S. efforts to provide unprecedented humanitarian assistance to survivors of that crime, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) reports.
The display is part of an exhibit at the White House Visitors Center entitled “Thank you to the United States: Three Gifts to Presidents in Gratitude for American Generosity Abroad” – showcasing the Ghazir rug, as well as the Sèvres vase, given to President Herbert Hoover in appreciation for feeding children in post-World War I France, and the Flowering Branches in Lucite, given to President Barack Obama in recognition of American support of the people of Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2010. These three gifts to American presidents will be on display so visitors to the White House and those wishing to see the artifacts can view them.”
The exhibit is scheduled to take place at the White House Visitor Center from November 18th to 23rd. The Armenian Orphan Rug measures 11′ 7″ x 18′ 5″ and is comprised of 4,404,206 individual knots. It took Armenian girls in the Ghazir Orphanage of Near East Relief 10 months to weave. The rug was delivered to President Coolidge on December 4, 1925, in time for Christmas, with a label on the back of the rug, which reads “IN GOLDEN RULE GRATITUDE TO PRESIDENT COOLIDGE.”