On a state visit to Italy, Armenian president Armen Sarkissian visited La Sapienza University of Rome.
La Sapienza, one of the leading universities in Italy with a history of 700 years, is also one of the oldest and largest universities in Europe. In the international rankings, it is among the best educational institutions, especially in the fields of archeology, classical and ancient history, art and humanities, as well as physical-mathematical and aerospace engineering.
During the visit of the President of Armenia, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport and La Sapienza University. The star of Armenology classes at the university was also announced. The document was signed by Armenian Ambassador to Italy Tsovinar Hambardzumyan and Rector of La Sapienza University Antonella Polimeni.
“Whatever is happening today is a big event. I am proud to say that Armenia is one of the oldest, unique countries in the world, which has accumulated great knowledge during its millenia-long existence, it is our duty to share that knowledge with others,” President Sarkissian said.
“I am happy to be here today, not as a president, but simply as an Armenian, as someone who values knowledge, education and science, and the fact that there will be Armenology classes in the heart of Rome, in this university. Maybe at first only the Armenian language will be taught, then the scope can be expanded,” the President said, adding that the program will be a strong bridge between Rome and Yerevan.
“I hope that this small start will be the beginning of a big initiative. And I can assure you that I will be one of those who will fully support this start,” he added.
President Sarkissian discussed with the Rector of the University Antonella Polimeni issues related to the expansion and continuity of the Armenology course.
La Sapienza University had a chair of Armenology since the early 2000s. Armenology has deep roots in Italy, it has been operating in 6 Italian universities for many years, and in some of them there are still chairs of Armenology. The Chair of Armenian Language and Culture at La Sapienza University had been closed for the last ten years due to lack of funding. In the past year the Armenian Embassy has done a huge work to ensure the re-opening of the chair of Armenology, and due to the efforts of the parties, the teaching of Armenology will start in the high-ranking Department of Classics and Ancient History of the university.