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Exhibition on “100 Years of Armenians in Vrnjačka Banja” opens in the capital of Serbian tourism

An exhibition titled “100 Years of Armenians in Vrnjačka Banja” opened in the capital of the Serbian tourism – the famous Vrnjačka Banja spa resort, under the auspices of the Ambassador Ashot Hovakimian and the Mayor Boban Đuroviċ.

The exhibition is organized by the newly established Union of Armenians of Vrnjačka Banja and Museum of Culture.

In the spring of 1922, several Armenian families that survived the Armenian Genocide (all together 40 people), sheltered in the Mediterranean coastal community of Dört Yol. They were forced to emigrate again with the Greek refugees, and when they arrived in Thessaloniki, they appealed to King Alexander I of Yugoslavia to resettle in Yugoslavia (Serbia).

As a result, a 10-year agreement on resettlement and the purchase of land was signed between them and the Royal office. This was an exceptional case of organized Armenian migration to Serbia after the Armenian Genocide, which resulted in the existence of a successful, vibrant, closely interconnected Armenian community in the city for 100 years.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Ambassador Ashot Hovakimian, Mayor of Vrnjačka Banja Boban Đurović, President of the Union of Armenians of Vrnjačka Banja Čedomir Artinović-Artinjan, in the presence of the general public of the city, a large number of heirs of the Vrnjačka Banja Armenians from different cities of Serbia, even from abroad, laid wreaths at the monument to King Alexander Karađorđević of Yugoslavia in the central park of the city.

In the city’s Museum of Culture, which formerly was the residence of the famous tycoon Relja Belimarković, and around which the first Armenian migrants were relocated, the solemn opening of the exhibition took place, during which Ambassador Hovakimian, Mayor Đurović, the director of the Museum made the welcoming speeches.

Slavica Davidović (Der Bogosijan), the author of the exhibition “Life through Photos”, presented the life and activity of a number of Armenian families (Der Bogosijans, Artiniյans, Belanijans, Setrakijans, Jegenijans) who survived the genocide and found their second home in Serbia, over the last hundred years. It was noteworthy, that the exhibition also featured the works of the fourth generation of Belanijan and Der Bogosijan families – the talented sculptor Jovana Petković Belanijan and painter Relja Der Bogosijan.

The event aroused great interest in Serbia, was widely covered by the central and regional press and television.

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