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Calouste Gulbenkian

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#1 MJ



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Posted 04 March 2001 - 08:46 AM

The Calouste Gulbenkian Story
by Fred Stern

Posted Image
Calouste Gulbenkian
in his late 20s

If your wealth makes Aristotle Onassis look like a pauper, and your taste does not run to fancy yachts and celebrity women, you can afford to please the sensitivity of your eyes, the dream castles of your mind, the velvety touch of your fingers, and your art collection is poised to become the envy of decades of collectors in the future.

You are Calouste Gulbenkian and highlights from your collection are now on view at the new Greek galleries at New York's Metropolitan Museum until Feb. 27, 2000.

Calouste Gulbenkian (1899-1955), sometimes known in the press as "Mr. Five Percent," was the architect of a fabulous network of pipeline deals that made him one of the wealthiest men this side of Istanbul. He got his start after his affluent parents sent him to Kings College, London, where he received an engineering degree with distinction. At age 22 he wrote a book on the management of petroleum resources, which came to the attention of the Turkish minister in charge of the oil fields of the Ottoman Empire. In short order Gulbenkian engineered the creation of the Turkish Petroleum Company and set up a consortium between the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Royal Dutch Shell and Deutsche Bank.

But Gulbenkian was also an avid collector. He began collecting Greek and Roman coins in early boyhood and then expanded his activities in the early 1920's. Soon no museum or private collector could match his resources, determination and his connoisseurship. Norton Simon and his mini-Louvre in Pasadena, replete with Rembrandts, Bassanos, Gauguins and Asian acquisitions, pales against Gulbenkian's treasures. The Duke of Bedford's 24 Canalettos are no match. The 12 Holbeins of Prince von Fürstenberg and Donaueschingen don't come close.

What did Gulbenkian collect? More precisely, what didn't he collect. Aside from his requirement that any acquisition be "only the best," Gulbenkian insisted that all his objects have a classical orientation, whether they be paintings or sculpture, jewelry or ceramics, Persian rugs or the exquisite creations of brooches by French jeweler/designer René Lalique (1860-1945).

We have no way of assessing the collecting history of this Armenian-Portuguese connoisseur. When you are this rich you can change your mind as many times as you like, switch in and out of fields, areas of collecting or artists whenever the whim strikes you. Gulbenkian's "mistakes" made fabulous wedding gifts.

If what he craved was unavailable on the open market, he approached the likes of the Rothschilds and Pierpont Morgan and bargained for their prized possessions. He usually got his way in the end, but sometimes, reluctantly, he backed off from an item he had his heart set on, such as the Goya Duchess of Chinchon.

Gulbenkian's executors funded the Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal with an endowment of $2.6 billion and an annual budget of $102 million. Housed in a palace-like structure, and set in a 17-acre park replete with a permanent sculpture display and a children's art center, the foundation holds all 6,800 artifacts of Gulbenkian's collection "under one roof," as stipulated. The current Met show, which features 80 works, is a result of renovations at the Lisbon center.

Edouard Manet's Boy Blowing Bubbles (1807), though reminiscent of Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin's Soap Bubbles, matches freshness and delight with the innocent pleasures of childhood. This impressive late Gulbenkian purchase (1943) is from the estate of Adolf Lewisohn.

Joseph Mallord William Turner's Wreck of a Transport Ship (1810) is a searingly dramatic picture of a ship and its human cargo caught in a destructive maelstrom. The painting is organized around diagonal masts and broken oars while brilliant shards of color of the about-to-be shipwrecked contrast with the white spray of the indifferent waves. The helplessness of the passengers is clear.

The spirit of quattrocento Florence is caught refreshingly in the image of the Portrait of a Young Woman (1485) by Domenico Ghirlandaio. The coral necklace provides a wonderful transition between lips, hair and a suitably simple dress.

In sculpture, too, Gulbenkian went for the very best and so we have Jean-Antoine Houdon's Apollo (1790), a sand-cast bronze sculpture that waited for completion while Houdon was in Virginia working on his bust of Washington. The image of the immensely beautiful head of Apollo with its crown of flowing hair has found wide dissemination as a relief medallion.

Gulbenkian, a devoted Egyptologist, managed to locate a rare bronze sculpture with gold and copper inlay from Dynasty XXIII, the reign of King Pedubast, 818-791 B.C. Richly ornamented with divine figures and encrustations in gold and copper, the 10-inch-high artifact attests to the vitality and artistic excellence of a stormy period in Egyptian history.

A Jewel for the Eagles and Pines Choker (ca. 1899-1901) is an enormous rectangular cabochon opal, lightly touching pine branches whose needles are enhanced by golden pine cones hiding two eagles enameled in dark blue. This pin and others were bought directly from its creator, René Lalique, in July 1901 when Gulbenkian was all of 12 years old!

My eye was attracted to Japanese objects, especially the exhibition's only writing box. Writing boxes, used primarily by traveling savants, were typically lacquered with relief decorations, and are among the most admired artifacts in Japanese art. The example on view is almost overly rich in its intricacies, displaying a folding screen, a grove of trees, an owl sitting in a branch, a hawk chained to a perch, a clothes rack with robes and two inros (pouches that held tobacco or medicine). Two other inros on view are equally ornate and impressive.

Gulbenkian also gloried in Turkish (Iznik) ceramics. In his collection their stunning forms span the centuries beginning with the 1600's. Rich examples of Persian carpets, hangings and panels suggest how much more is housed at the Foundation in Lisbon.

FRED STERN writes on art and antiques.

[ March 04, 2001: Message edited by: MJ ]

#2 MJ



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Posted 04 March 2001 - 08:56 AM

The Armenian Communities Department [of Gubenkian Foundation - MJ] aims to develop ways of providing support to the eight million Armenians dispersed throughout the world. It offers this assistance in three priority areas: Education, Science and Publications.

A major priority of the Department's work is the educational sector, best illustrated by the annual award of a certain number of higher education scholarships.
The Department also has a special scholarship programme for seminary students at the six Armenian theological training centres, which are: Etchmiadzine in Armenia, Antelias and Bzommar in Lebanon, Jerusalem, Venice and Vienna.

Another important part of the Department's work in education is for the Armenian schools in the Diaspora. The Department has established a special programme for them by covering the tuition fees of a certain proportion of the pupils. Subject to well-defined priorities, the department further endeavours to provide the schools with the teaching materials they require to fulfil their vocation.

Above all, the department's grant-giving priorities distinctly tend to be aimed at the Middle Eastern countries, where the Armenian population is greatest and in most need, especially in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. There is a special programme of aid towards the improvement of sanitation facilities, which has become essential in the Armenian schools of these three countries.

In the matter of Science, the Department's main activity is focused primarily on Armenia, and is specially centred on its four pillars of science and knowledge, that is to say, the National Academy of Sciences, the State University of Yerevan, the National Library and the Matenadaran (or Library of Ancient Manuscripts).

After the collapse of the old regime and of the network of scientific relations, which the country used to enjoy, the Department aims to ensure that these four institutions possess all they need to function autonomously and normally.

Thus the Department has recently offered the National Academy of Sciences and the State University computerised equipment to enable scientists to pursue their studies and research, at the same as giving them access to an indispensable network of information and contacts on the international scene.

Furthermore, an ultra modern printing press was sent from Lisbon to the National Academy of Sciences. This entirely computerised equipment enables the country to undertake the gradual recovery of its role as Mother country to Armenians throughout the Diaspora. Thus, besides meeting its own printing needs, it should be able to meet those of the Diaspora.

Another objective of the Armenian Communities Department's activities is to encourage medical research. This support is carried out through the award of training scholarships, the organisation of training programmes in the Diaspora, or by direct logistic support. By way of example, under the Armenian Communities Department's patronage, we may mention the creation of a new Genetics Laboratory, following agreements reached between the Henri Mondor of Créteil-Paris Hospital and the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. This Laboratory is carrying out specific research in particular into the Periodical Disease, a disease unique of its kind, which seriously effects some ancient populations, particularly those spread all around the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition to genetics, support is also given to botanical and biological research, which is in the course of active development in Armenia. This illustrates the efforts that have been made to face the rapid growth of several diseases, resulting from the earthquake in 1988 and from the consequences of natural and environmental disasters.

The Department has its own publications, and also supports the publication of certain works generally considered to be essential works of reference in the world of Armenology.

These publications are of fundamental importance and great scientific interest.

Armenian Communities
Av. de Berna, 45A
1067-001 Lisboa - Portugal

#3 koko



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Posted 20 August 2002 - 02:50 AM

European Liaison Centre
The Gulbenkian Foundation:
Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian was an Armenian born in 1869. He became a British citizen, conducted much of his work in Britain and finally settled in Portugal. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation was founded in 1956, a year after his death.

The UK branch of the Foundation deals only with grant applications for projects in the uk and Ireland and only with projects whose principal beneficiaries are people in these countries.


#4 koko



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Posted 20 August 2002 - 02:54 AM

The Calouste Gulbenkian Library

mission and history:


#5 Aratta-Kingdom



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Posted 07 August 2006 - 07:45 PM

Portugal benefits from oil tycoon's legacy

Bahrain Tribune, Bahrain
Aug 6, 2006

Daniel Silva

Portugal produces no oil yet for the past five decades oil wealth
has played a key role in the development of the country, paying for
library books, hospital equipment and thousands of scholarships.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, named after a Turkish-born Armenian
oil tycoon who left his fortune to the country, has given out two
billion euros (2.5 billion US dollars) at current prices since it
was set up in 1956, a year after his death.

Money provided by the foundation has also funded the nation's top
symphony orchestra, several rehabilitation centres for the handicapped
and exhibition halls as well as the restoration of historical sites.

"The truth is that this foundation is the most extraordinary lucky
break in the history of this country," sociologist Antonio Barreto
said last month at a ceremony marking the 50-year anniversary of the
approval of the foundation's statutes.

Barreto is writing a book on the impact that the foundation's vast
resources have had on Portugal, one of western Europe's poorest

Gulbenkian, who made his fortune in the Middle East, lived at a
Lisbon hotel during the last 13 years of his life after moving in
1942 to Portugal, at the age of 73, by car with his wife, from Nazi
Germany's occupied France. Three years before his death he drew up
a will allotting the bulk of his fortune, as well as his vast art
collection, to Portugal to be used to set up a charitable foundation
to thank the country for providing him with a refuge from the ravages
of World War II.

The will specified that the foundation must be based in Lisbon, exist
in perpetuity and focus on the fields of arts, charity, education
and science.

Under the care of its executors the foundation's assets have risen
to just over three billion euros, equal to two percent of Portugal's
gross domestic product, from the equivalent of 14 million euros when
it was founded in 1956.

It is Europe's sixth-biggest charitable foundation by assets.

Among its holdings is oil company Partex, which has interests in Abu
Dhabi, Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Oman. It produces some
13.5 million barrels of oil per year.

The foundation has an annual budget for its charitable activies equal
to four percent of its overall assets, which this year amounted
to 113 million euros, more than the budget of some government
ministries. Roughly 80 percent of the money is spent in Portugal
with much of the rest earmarked for projects in the country's former
colonies in Africa.

Gulbenkian's art collection, which includes Egyptian sculptures,
Chinese Qing vases and scores of gold and silver Greco-Roman coins,
is on display at a Lisbon museum set in a park that shares his name
which has become one of the nation's top tourist attractions since
it threw open its doors in 1969.

"I think we'll never be able to thank him sufficiently for his
generosity," the president of the foundation, Rui Vilar, said in an
interview published in July in literary magazine JL.

One of the first ventures which the foundation bankrolled was the
creation of a network of traveling libraries which operated out of a
fleet of buses, lending books to readers in the most remote parts of
the country. Five years after the foundation was set up it operated
61 "library buses" alongside 156 permanent libraries at a time when
Portugal was ruled by a repressive right-wing dictatorship which
vastly neglected social spending.

"Few actions touched the interior of Portugal during the second half
of the twentieth century as deeply as this one," Portuguese President
Anibal Cavaco Silva said at the celebrations marking the foundation's
50-year anniversary. Speaking before an audience which included all of
Portugal's living former presidents, Cavaco Silva also recalled how a
Gulbenkian scholarship allowed him to do a PhD in economics in England.

Since its establishment the foundation has given out more than 65,000
scolarships. Before Portugal, a nation of just over 10 million people,
joined the European Community, the precursor to the European Union
in 1986, the foundation was the nation's main source of scholarships,
especially for studies abroad.

Born in 1869 to a family of well-to-do Armenian merchants in Scutari,
now part of Istanbul, Gulbenkian became a British citizen after
studying petroleum engineering in London and was one of the first to
open the Middle East to the oil trade.

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#7 Yervant1


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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:05 AM

Armenian Communities Department - Service des Communautés Arméniennes
Av. de Berna, 45 A, PT-1067-001, Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: +351 21 782 3658
E-mail: osullivan@gulbenkian.pt

Oscar O'Sullivan
Gestor de Projetos Junior
Serviço das Comunidades Arménias

Publication of a New Five-Year Programming Plan
for the Armenian Communities Department of the
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

The new Programming Plan of the Armenian Communities Department (ACD)
of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation lays out the key components of
its funding priorities and activities for the next five years
(2014-2018). Launching in December 2013, it is based on the
Department's mission "to create a viable future for the Armenian
people in which its culture and language are preserved and valued."
The Plan is structured around the four priority areas which are
crucial in fulfilling that mission: promoting the preservation of
Armenian language and culture through education, supporting Armenia by
investing in its youth and civil society, helping to improve
Armenian-Turkish relations and preserving Armenian literary heritage.
A consultative process was undertaken that affirmed these needs. The
most important issue arising is the rapid loss of the language
Calouste Gulbenkian spoke: Western Armenian. For this reason much of
the funding will go towards safeguarding and developing the language
and culture, particularly in the diaspora. A strategic approach is
being adopted as the Department begins to provide larger sums to fewer
initiatives, so that greater impact is assured.
What follows is a presentation of the programmes, grouped around four
priority areas. In addition to these, two further initiatives will be
introduced: turning the Department into a hub of connections and
strategic thinking for the Armenian world, and humanitarian support in
unforeseen circumstances (e.g. the Armenian community in
Syria). Programmes will be implemented throughout the world by trusted

1. Preservation of the Armenian language and culture, and the
development of the diaspora by linking its different parts and
investing in education

i) Loss of the Western Armenian Language
Western Armenian is an "Endangered Language" according to UNESCO,
under the threat of disappearing if serious initiatives are not
undertaken to reinforce it. This generation is probably the last
generation that can halt or possibly reverse this process of
not-so-gradual loss of a language that was a vibrant source of
Armenian culture only half a century ago. The ACD will focus on the
following four areas to reinforce and develop the language:

A. Support to Armenian Schools and Other Educational Initiatives in
the Diaspora
Armenian schools will continue to receive funding. There will be a
focus on less developed countries where the Armenian community faces
significant material limitations, and where there also is a critical
mass of Armenian speakers (or the potential of having such a critical
mass). Where there is demographic growth in a community, support for
the set-up of new schools or the strengthening of existing ones will
be considered.
Student-related initiatives that preserve the language will also be
financed. Innovative youth initiatives that encourage Armenians in the
diaspora to speak the language and to produce culture in it will be
backed, particularly in Western countries. Emphasis will be put on
extra-curricular activities related to culture and initiatives that
are led by young people speaking to their interests as defined by them
rather than defined by traditional community leaders.

B. Support the Creation of a Teacher Training Centre for Western
Armenian The Department aims to foster an intellectual community that
can teach the language in schools, edit the newspapers and websites of
tomorrow, produce culture and manage community affairs in Armenian. To
this end, it will provide a significant grant over the next two years
to establish somewhere in the diaspora an Armenian Teacher Training
Centre or Programme. It will also support the establishment of an
International Western Armenian Teachers Association.

C. Academic Centres and University-Based Initiatives that Teach
Western Armenian and Culture, Research the Use of Western Armenian or
Contribute to Armenian Studies Support will be available for academic
centres and initiatives where Western Armenian is taught to students
who specialise in Armenian studies or are learning the language for
personal reasons, as well as innovative projects on the use and
reinforcement of Western Armenian. Additionally, some support will be
given to conferences and lectures focused on Armenian studies.

D. Use of New Technologies
Historically Armenians have been at the forefront of new technologies
and have adapted these to the needs of Armenian culture. The ACD hopes
to continue this tradition and encourage the use of modern
technologies in teaching the language, producing culture and making
Armenian part of the "technological world" of youth. As such, web
courses and other electronic learning opportunities, innovative apps
for culture and language, interactive electronic publications, online
networks and other such initiatives will be considered for
support. Emphasis will be put upon initiatives that reach out to
Armenian youth around the world electronically, linking them, bringing
Armenian culture to them and encouraging them to produce culture.

ii) Scholarships
Scholarships continue to be at the heart of the Department's
funding. It has developed five principal categories for university
student support. In general, fewer, larger, merit-based scholarships
will be awarded in order to ensure greater impact. Full information on
each grant and applicant eligibility will be available on the
Department's website. The scholarship categories for the next five
years are as follows: i) The Calouste Gulbenkian Global Excellence
Scholarship for Armenian Students (four per year); ii) The Calouste
Gulbenkian Armenian Studies Scholarship (six to ten); iii) Western
Armenian Teacher Training Scholarships (six); iv) Short Term
Conference and Travel Grants to Students in Armenia (approx. forty);
v) The Calouste Gulbenkian Undergraduate Studies Scholarships
(approx. forty). On an ad hoc basis, modest support to Armenian
university students already studying in Portugal may be considered.
Emergency scholarships will be provided to students caught up in
conflict or other major crisis situations. Finally, the potential for
a Calouste Gulbenkian Armenian Communities Department "Alumni
Association" and the establishment of an "Internship Programme" for
young Armenians will be explored.

2. Development of a viable Armenia through investing in its youth and
their commitment to civil society

Grants will be provided to civil society organisations that encourage
civic education, engagement and mobilisation among the youth,
providing them employment opportunities while being socially active
citizens. Projects that balance engagement in Yerevan with activities
and initiatives outside of the capital city will be favoured. Another
element of the Department's work in Armenia will be to link young
intellectuals in the country with their peers in Europe, North America
and other developed countries. A series of exchange programmes, study
tours and intensive summer courses are planned to enhance the exposure
of Armenia's scientific and cultural community to innovations and
trends elsewhere, particularly in the social sciences and humanities.
The ACD will collaborate with the Ministry of the Diaspora on certain
initiatives, particularly to strengthen the Western Armenian language
and culture. Within the Armenia "envelope" of funding, there is scope
for initiatives from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

3. Improve Armenian-Turkish relations by sponsoring projects that
encourage a common understanding of their long shared history

Turkey is in the process of undergoing a significant transformation
which has enabled the discussion of subjects previously considered
taboo, including the Armenian Genocide. The Department welcomes this
and is keen to contribute to it. Two types of activities will be
supported in Turkey: first, the reinforcement of Armenian community
structures and institutions in the country, including schools,
particularly if they contribute to the preservation of Western
Armenian language, culture and traditions. Second, initiatives of
civil society and academic dialogue between Armenians on the one hand,
and Turks and Kurds on the other. This will include projects of
translation from Armenian into Turkish and Kurdish (and vice versa),
arts and cultural events, as well as research and training in Ottoman

4. Preserve and make available the Armenian literary heritage

A signature programme of the Department has been its publication
support for books, journals and newspapers, whether in Armenian or
about Armenian issues. This work continues, but will be modernised it
in two important respects.
First, while maintaining some funding for the "classics", more
emphasis will be put upon producing publications on modern and
contemporary topics, including original research on current issues and
problems facing Armenia and the diaspora, contemporary literature,
social and cultural issues of interest to younger readers. Second,
print publishing will be complemented by electronic
publishing. Digital media will be privileged: funding will go towards
supporting newspapers and journals to go online, and encouraging the
production of interactive e-books, as well as Armenian-related
smartphone applications, online dictionaries and lexicons. It is
anticipated that online publications will receive the majority of this
funding by 2020.
Projects will be undertaken to digitise important ancient manuscripts,
archival documents and other rare texts.
A two-way translation programme will be developed: initiatives to make
important Armenian texts available in other significant languages will
be financed, along with translation into Armenian of important foreign
language texts.
Some funds will be set aside to explicitly encourage the creation of
new literature and culture - be it in Western Armenian or in another
language but concerning Armenians. To this end, the Department will
sponsor initiatives such as creative writing workshops that encourage
Armenians to engage in cultural production that is innovative and
Plans are being made for an international prize for best new fiction
and non-fiction, open to younger authors writing in Western Armenian.

5. Turning the Department into a hub of connections and strategic
thinking, and collaborating with other Departments within the

The ACD is changing from a traditional funder into a catalyst for
change, and a facilitator of strategic thinking and long term
planning. Its international and independent position is unique in the
Armenian world, enabling it to act above partisan community
politics. Organisations, experts and noted leaders will be invited to
Lisbon on a yearly basis to discuss current issues of mutual concern
and to strategise collectively to find solutions. The meetings will
focus on common interests and concrete goals, linking components of
the Armenian world that do not usually come together. The first
meeting will take place in 2014 on a broad "inaugural" theme:
Armenians in 2115. This will be a valuable chance for community
leaders to ask: "Where is the Armenian nation heading after the
commemoration of 2015?"
In collaboration with other colleagues at the Foundation, Armenian
cultural events will be staged in Portugal so that Armenian culture,
music, art and history becomes known in the Foundation's home country.

6. Unforeseen circumstances and humanitarian needs (Urgent Action

From time to time there are calls to intervene in a major
humanitarian crisis (e.g. Syria). Some funds will be set aside in
order to cope with such unforeseen circumstances. On occasions
important opportunities related to the Department's mission but not
necessarily programmed in its budget will be

Conclusion: Working through Partners

To realise its objectives, the ACD needs to work with excellent
partners around the world, be they organisations or individuals. The
first group of partners are its grantees. The Department is eager to
work much more closely with partners to ensure results. Funds will not
simply be distributed to organisations and individuals. Collaborative
work will continue on an ongoing basis. Second, further partnership
opportunities will be explored between the Department and other
organisations that have an interest in supporting Armenia and Armenian
initiatives. Joint programmes will be sought with organisations
whereby the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will be one funder among
several others.
The ACD's vision of the Armenian world of the early
2020s is a world in which Western Armenian is more secure as a living
language, sustained through a network of young qualified teachers and
intellectuals using innovative teaching and communication methods, as
well as a youthful generation in diaspora that continues to speak it
and create in it. It is hoped that in a few years Armenians will reap
the rewards of the Foundation's scholarship programmes, as hundreds of
university educated men and women assume leadership positions in their
respective fields, and that Armenian Studies, as an academic field,
gains a number of new graduates not only researching issues and
problems currently facing the Armenian nation but also offering
evidence-based solutions. The ACD hopes for a much stronger civil
society in Armenia, with an engaged youth that contributes to the
country's democratic development, and an academic community that is
globally connected and participating in international debates using
the latest research methods and approaches in the social sciences. It
also hopes to see engagement between Armenians and Turks advance to
such a degree that the dialogue between the two peoples - and the
issues it deals with - becomes part of the mainstream of the two
societies instead of being confined to the sidelines. Finally, it will
be a source of pride for the Department to see at the end of the Five
Year Plan a younger generation using scores of IT-based applications,
books, journals, newspapers and other electronic initiatives that
either use Western Armenian or enhance Armenian culture and learning
in the digital world.
In short, through the activities of this Plan, the Armenian
Communities Department strives to create a more viable future for the
Armenian people in which its culture and language are preserved and
valued. That, after all, is its mission.

The full plan is available in English, Armenian and French on our site:

#8 Arpa



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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:26 PM

This is a heap of rubbish, vicious propaganda, pure hogwash.


Who told UNESCO this lie? How did UNESCO come to that conclusion?

i) Loss of the Western Armenian Language
Western Armenian is an "Endangered Language" according to UNESCO,
under the threat of disappearing if serious initiatives are not
undertaken to reinforce it. This generation is probably the last
generation that can halt or possibly reverse this process of
not-so-gradual loss of a language that was a vibrant source of
Armenian culture only half a century ago. The ACD will focus on the
following four areas to reinforce and develop the language




Western Armenian is not an endangered species, if anything it is the preserver of the Good Old Classical Armenian.. The so called “Armenian” coming out of Yerevan will be extinct shortly


Read the Armenian coming out of Aleppo, Beirut, Paris, Boston, even from Bolis and see the genuine Armenian language. That is, if we can still read and understand traditional Armenian. Then read (don’t) the rubbish from Yerevan and see which is Armenian. You may need a microscope to see even one Armenian word among all that garbage of Russian, Latin, …and yes furkish. Wait till they completely trash the Mesropian Alphabet and replace it with the Cyrillic. They have already virtually done it.


You want to see Good Old Armenian? Read some the posts by our friend Johannes.


Now, dear UNECO, please tell us which is endangered.?

Edited by Arpa, 15 December 2013 - 07:36 PM.

#9 Yervant1


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Posted 22 October 2014 - 09:22 AM

Armenian Communities Department - Service des Communautés Arméniennes
Av. de Berna, 45 A, PT-1067-001, Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: +351 21 782 3658
E-mail: osullivan@gulbenkian.pt

Oscar O'Sullivan
Gestor de Projetos Junior
Serviço das Comunidades Arménias

Thousands of People Take Part in First "Armenian Culture Week" at
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

The first ever Armenian Culture Week (12-19 October 2014) at the
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation generated much excitement and interest
in Lisbon. Sixteen events took place in eight days, including
concerts, lectures, seminars and exhibitions.

"It was an intense week," said Razmik Panossian, the Director of the
Armenian Communities Department, "as we brought to Portugal various
aspects of Armenia culture and history. I was truly and pleasantly
surprised at the great interest the Week generated among the general
public and among my colleagues at the Foundation."


Five concerts highlighted traditional and classical Armenian music as
the sound of the duduk and other Armenian instruments filled the
packed the 1000-seat Grand Auditorium on several occasions.

Shoghaken Ensemble's Road to Armenia concert kicked off the Week on
October 12. Founded in 1995, the Ensemble interprets songs and
melodies, playing them on traditional instruments. The results "are
stunning in their drive, beauty and mystery" according to the Boston

On Tuesday night, the 14th of October, a free Armenian chamber music
concert was given by Gulbenkian Orchestra soloists and their guests,
performing pieces by Arno Babajanian, Tigran Mansurian and of course
Komitas. The audience was captivated by the delicate music and the
voice of soprano Manuela Moniz whose repertoire included the classic
song of longing, "Krunk."

Thursday and Friday nights the full Orchestra, conducted by Pedro
Neves, played Armenian and Portuguese composers as part of its regular
series: Luís de Freitas Branco and Aram Khachaturian, including the
famous Suite no. 3 from Gayane. Nareh Arghamanyan, the invited piano
soloist, enchanted the audience with her spirited interpretation of
Khachaturian. Friday's main concert was followed by another Armenian
chamber music concert, playing compositions by Harutiun Dellalian,
Karen Khachaturian and Vache Sharafyan.

The music series was closed on Sunday 19 October by the Jordi Savall's
wonderful "Spirit of Armenia" sold-out concert. His ensemble,
including invited musicians from Armenia produced an enthralling
musical experience.

Roundtables, Lectures and Book Launch

Three public events provided much needed information about the Founder
and his culture on Wednesday 15 October.

The roundtable "More than Mr. 5%: The Early Life of Calouste
Gulbenkian" focused on the Founder's early life and his inspiring
example still relevant to us. The President of the Foundation, Artur
Santos Silva, opened the proceedings. The Director of the Library and
Archives, Ana Paula Gordo, brought the archives to life by
highlighting some of the hidden treasures it contains, including
letters from a very young Gulbenkian to his father. Jonathan Conlin,
the biographer of Calouste Gulbenkian, presented some of the early
findings of his research, leaving the audience eager for the
publication of his book. Finally, Martin Essayan, Gulbenkian's
great-grandson and Trustee, delivered an inspiring speech aimed
largely at the employees of the Foundation. Openness, cooperation and
effectiveness were key words throughout his discourse. The roundtable
was moderated by Razmik Panossian.

The Portuguese version of Vassili Grossman's book, An Armenian
Sketchbook, was launched on Wednesday as well. Published by Don
Quixote, it appears under the title Bem Hajam! Apontamentos de Viagem
à Arménia. Filipe Guerra, one of the two translators of the book
explained the context of the book and Grossman's visit to Armenia in
the early 1960s.

The formal opening of the "Networks of Circulation and Exchange:
Armenian, Portuguese, Jewish and Muslim Communities from the
Mediterranean to the South China Seas" conference took place on
Wednesday evening. Once again, the President of the Foundation
formally opened it, emphasizing the spirit of cooperation and
collaboration, as well as the parallels between Armenian and
Portuguese history. The keynote speaker, Professor Sebouh Aslanian, a
historian from UCLA, gave a fascinating account of Armenian merchants
and their international networks in the 17th and 18th centuries. The
conference continued on Thursday and Friday.

Another roundtable, attended by nearly 80 people, was on the topic of
"Armenian Music: Past and Present." Moderated by Rui Vieira Nery, the
Director of the Portuguese Language and Culture Programme, it was not
only an informative but also an emotional event. Marina Dellayan, a
Portugal-based pianist, explained the history of Armenian music and
gave an overview of Armenian culture, while musician Gevorg Dabaghyan
introduced the "most Armenian instrument," the duduk, and graced the
audience with a private concert of three pieces, including Komitas's

Jordi Savall too had gracefully agreed to take part in another
roundtable on Armenian music prior to his concert. Answering questions
posed by the moderator, Risto Nieminen, the Director of the Music
Department, Savall emphasized the healing power of music and how
resilient people like the Armenians have produced culture in - and in
response too - adverse conditions, violence and exile.

At the Modern Art Centre of the Foundation, Professor Kim Theriault
delivered a fascinating lecture about the life and art of one of the
most important American artists of the 20th century, "Towards the
abstract: the imaginary and imagination of Arshile Gorky." She
discussed Gorky's development as an artist, his work and his impact on
modern art. Gorky created, she argued, a unique abstract art that was
a bridge between European Surrealism and American Abstract
Expressionism, and that ultimately it was a visual manifestation of
his displacement as an artist of Armenian origin.

Film Premiere

The Grand Auditorium was once again full for the premiere of the
documentary film "ARtMENIA," directed by Ricardo Espírito Santo (Terra
Líquida Films), in collaboration with Helena Araújo. The movie
artfully introduced Armenian history, culture and traditions to the
Portuguese audience, weaving it through the music of Tigran Mansurian.


During the week, two two-day international seminars were hosted by the
Foundation. The first, on Monday and Tuesday, brought together 35
leaders and prominent thinkers in the Armenian world to discuss
strategies for the future. Under the rubric of "Armenians at 2115,"
the invitation only seminar was a seminal step in fostering long term
planning and strategic visioning. A separate communique will soon be
issued on this event, followed by a seminar report.

The second two-day seminar, continuing from the keynote address of
Wednesday evening, was an academic gathering on the topic of "trade
networks." Some 40 international experts focused on the use of
commodities and paper instruments in the early modern period. Some of
the top experts in the field were present, along with younger
colleagues researching the topic. Comparisons were drawn between
Armenian, Portuguese and other trade networks. The papers will be
published as a book.


Two key exhibitions accompanied the Armenian Culture Week and have
received wonderful feedback from the general public.

The first is an exhibition focusing on the early life of Calouste
Gulbenkian, based on his personal papers, entitled More Than Mr.5%:
The Early Life of Calouste Gulbenkian. Among the first visitors was
the illustrious novelist Orhan Pamuk. The exhibition opened on October
2 and will run until 3 November.

The other exhibition, Arshile Gorky and the Collection is at the
Foundation's Modern Art Centre, and runs until 31 May 2015. It
focusses on Gorky's surrealist work "in conversation" with other
modernists of his period, including prominent Portuguese artists.

Martin Essayan, Trustee of the Foundation summed up the Week: "It was
touching to see and hear the culture of our Founder resonate in the
Foundation. The collaborative spirit in which Armenian Culture Week
was planned and executed is exemplary. The Armenian Communities
Department reached out to various other parts of the Foundation - from
the Presidency to Communications, from the Music Department to the
Museum, CAM, the Archives, and the Programme of Portuguese Language
and Culture. The success of the week was contingent upon such
collaboration. Indeed, it was a wonderful week celebrating Armenian
culture at one of the premier foundations in Europe headquartered in

For more Information visit our webpage:
www.gulbenkian.pt/armeniancommunities Or please contact

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 11:08 AM




Jonathan Conlin to Speak on “Calouste Gulbenkian (1869-1955) and the Pasdurma Problem”




FRESNO — Dr. Jonathan Conlin of Southampton University (United Kingdom), will give a presentation on “Calouste Gulbenkian (1869-1955) and the Pasdurma Problem” at 7:30PM on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191 on the Fresno State campus. The presentation is part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2019 Lecture Series.

Born into the Armenian merchant elite of Istanbul in 1869, the renowned oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian made his fortune as a ‘business architect,’ persuading rival oil companies to collaborate for their mutual enrichment, particularly in the Middle East. The violent collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Armenian Genocide and the attempt to establish a secure “Armenian National Home” at Versailles barely affected Gulbenkian, who appeared uninterested in being a “good Armenian.” His fellow Armenians nonetheless looked to him as benefactor and a leader of their diaspora. He was thus appointed to the presidency of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Paris-based philanthropy which sought to promote the welfare of Armenian refugees.

Although Gulbenkian spent the whole of his life living in hotels, he built the nearest thing he ever had to a “home” in Paris in the 1920s. This talk will consider the biographer’s challenges in addressing what Gulbenkian’s daughter dubbed “the pasdurma problem”: the question of how to situate oneself as a family which showed little interest either in being “good Armenians” or in assimilation. It argues that Gulbenkian’s cosmopolitanism reflected the amira class from which he hailed as much as it did that supranational world of multi-national oil companies whose emergence Gulbenkian did so much to foster.

Born in New York, Dr. Jonathan Conlin studied history and modern languages at Oxford before undertaking graduate degrees at the Courtauld Institute and Cambridge, where he was subsequently appointed a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College. Since 2006 he has taught history at the University of Southampton. His books include a history of the National Gallery (London), a comparative history of Paris and London and a biography of Adam Smith. In 2019 he published Mr. Five Per Cent: The Many Lives of Calouste Gulbenkian, World’s Richest Man, the product of five years’ research in ten countries.

Copies of Mr. Five Per Cent will be on sale at the lecture.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Fresno State Lots P6 and P5, near the University Business Center, Fresno State. A free parking code can be obtained by contacting the Armenian Studies Program.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, visit our website at www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies or visit our Facebook page at @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState

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