The Esplanade of Armenia was inaugurated in Paris today.
Attending the ceremony were Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, Armenia’s Ambassador to France Hasmik Tolmajian, other elected officials, local Armenians and guests.
“One year after the war, Paris attests to its solidarity with the Armenians,” Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said. He noted that the centuries-old links between Armenia and France go back to the kingdom of Cilicia, and relations between the Armenians and Paris were particularly tightened after the genocide. The capital then becomes one of the centers of the Armenian world with personalities like Aznavour, Manouchian, Essayan or Missakian.
Minister Mirzoyan stressed that the last three decades in particular have been marked by strong cooperation in many areas between the two states. Among the important moments, Ararat Mirzoyan pointed to the reception by Jacques Chirac, then city councilor, of the leaders of the Karabakh movement or, in recent months, the vote on the recognition of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh by the Paris City Council. He described it as “a strong signal sent to French society and to the world.”
He expressed gratitude to Mayor Anne Hidalgo, her Deputy Arnaud Ngatcha and all the members of the Council of Paris for the creation of this place.
The City Council of Paris voted unanimously on October 14 to establish an Esplanade of Armenia in the 8th arrondissement of the capital.
This space encompasses the part of Court Albert I where the statue of Komitas is located, the Garden of Armenia, and extends as far as the Pont de l’Alma, – an exceptional location in the heart of the prestigious 8th arrondissement of Paris, right in the center of the capital.
“As Mayor of Paris, I have always defended the right of the Armenian people to truth and recognition,” Anne Hidalgo said. Fortunately, she said, since 2018 the state has followed Paris on this path and every year the first genocide of the 20th century is commemorated every year on April 24, which has been designated as a National Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.
“With this new esplanade bearing the beautiful name of Armenia, this day of commemoration can be held here. We will then be able not only to commemorate the past, but also and above all to transmit this memory so that it guides our daily steps, especially at a time when Armenia is once again facing an existential danger,” the Mayor said.
She stressed that “the esplanade must be the symbol of living Armenia, of proud and upright Armenia.”