From October 23 till 25, 2017, RA Ministry of Diaspora, NAS RA Division of Armenology and Social Sciences, Yerevan State University, Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran) and the Mekhitarist Congregation of Venice with the support of RA State Committee of Science of Ministry of Education and Science launched  a series of events in Yerevan dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the establishment of Mekhitarist Congregation in the Venetian island of Saint Lazarus.

The two-day international conference entitled “Mekhitarist Congregation in Venice-300” in the sessions hall of the presidency of the NAS RA. The conference is part of the events dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the establishment of the Mekhitarist Congregation on St. Lazarus Island and is being held

            The first-day event took place at Matenadaran conference hall, where RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, the High Representative of the Mekhitarist Congregation of Venice, Primate of the Diocese of Armenian Catholic Church at Turkey, Levon Archbishop Zekiyan and the Acting Director of Matenadaran, Vahan Ter-Ghevondyan delivered their opening and welcoming speeches. Then the cultural part of the event began, during which classical Armenian musical segment presented through piano and violin. After that   Tsakhkazard ensemble of Araratian Patriarchal Diocese had a concert. The event ended with an exhibition tour dedicated to the Mekhitarist Congregation history and works.

On the second day, the official opening of the conference took place at the Presidential Hall of NAS RA. The Academician Radik Martirosyan, President of NAS RA, delivered an opening speech. After that, Archbishop Levon Zekiyan, NAS RA Institute of History Director, Doctor in Historical Sciences, Professor Ashot Melkonyan, RA Ministry of Diaspora Vice-Minister, Serzh Srapionyan and NAS RA Institute of Literature after M. Abeghyan Director, Vardan Devrikyan delivered their speeches. The second half of the day, the conference continued with thematic sessions in the fields of history, philology, art and culture.     

            It should be noted that speeches were delivered by experts and researchers interested in the topic; from Armenia and Diaspora. While from YSU Institute for Armenian Studies, speeches were delivered by the head of Armenian-Ottoman department, Candidate in Philological Sciences Lusine Sahakyan on “The Two Manuscripts Handwritten in Hamshen, kept at the Mekhitarist Matenadaran in Venice (114, 52)”, and the laboratory researcher Avedis Aposhian, from the Virtual Armenology and Information department on “History of School-Establishing of Mekhitarist Congregation in Worldwide Armenian Diaspora”.     

            At the wrap-up of the conference, Father Levon Zekiyan highly appreciated the objective and scientific approach of the intellectuals of Armenia, concerning the activity and heritage of the Mekhitarist Congregation. “Let us not wait fifty or a hundred years to organize a session and talk about the Mkhitarists, rather, we should regularly organize such scientific conferences at least once every five years”, - said Arch. Levon Zekiyan summarizing the series of three-day events dedicated to the Mekhitarist Congregation.

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