DIASPORA MINISTRY'S MUCH HERALDED "VIRTUAL MUSEUM" IS A "VIRTUAL EMBARRASSMENT"
- I read somewhere that the 2012 budget for the RA Ministry of the Diaspora is 712 million AMD. That's around $1.9 million, give or take. God knows what they do with the money...
I can tell you one thing for sure - they didn't spend a dime on the newly released Virtual Museum of the Armenian Diaspora! The website is an embarrassment and should have never been launched in its present state.
I skipped through the English version - atrocious is the first adjective that popped into my disbelieving head. Grammatical mistakes, incorrect place names, poor syntax....where does one begin?
Who conducted the research? Who edited the text? The best one can say is that, in places, the Virtual Museum resembles an adequate copy and past job.
As to factual inaccuracies, well, the list is endless. Here's a section on the Armenian community in the United States. Read and weep... The Armenians who left for the U.S. settled in almost all states and there were nearly 20,000 Armenians living in the U.S. in 1900. Among active dioceses are the U.S. Eastern (Prelacy is the St. Varian Church in New York, Prelate, Archbishop Khazhak Parsamian) The first Holy Savior Armenian Apostolic Church in the U.S. was built in 1891 in Ustr and currently, there are nearly 90 churches... I read that Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan noted the following to the press when the Virtual Museum was launched recently:
...creating such a museum requires serious professional work, and the Ministry of Diaspora did its utmost for the website to contain accurate information. More information will be added to the website in the course of time…
If we are to believe her words, then the Minister needs a serious wake-up call.
The Virtual Museum resembles a hastily concocted high school homework project rather than something emanating from a government ministry.
Minister Hakobyan also said that 6 million AMD ($16,000) was spent of the project.
The least they could have done was to hire a semi-decent translator/editor and a fact-checker.
Then again, there's nothing "virtual" about the Virtual Museum. I mean, you can't walk around in it.
I guess the million dollar question to be asked is - What was the ministry thinking in the first place?
Who came up with this idea and why?
Minister Hakobyan, during her press conference for the much ballyhooed museum, stated:
... The project is an attempt to integrate the Armenian Diaspora's values with community and national values.
Could someone please translate this into English for me?
Someone has to be held accountable for this travesty. Such haphazard and unprofessional work cannot be tolerated.
The ministry seems incapable, or unwilling, to take itself seriously and this project merely underlines the point.
They should have used the $16,000 to compile a reading list of materials for those interested in learning about the "diaspora"; its origins, history, present situation, et al.
This is a line from Minister Hakobyan's introduction when you enter the Virtual Museum:
Fortune disposed us, Armenians, to lose our Homeland and become refugees, to spread all over the world, to find a shelter in different corners of the world.
Please, go back to the drawing board and try again.
- 1854 England, France, and Turkey, declare war on Russia.
- 1862 Birth of Grigoris Galemkarian in Constantinople, media historian, linguist, bibliographer and member of the Mkhitarist Congregation in Vienna.
- 1869 Birth of Vaseelee Bartold in St. Petersburg, oriental studies scholar and academician. Many of his studies are devoted to Armenian subjects. In the Encyclopedia of Islam, he published a series of articles on mediaeval Armenian cities.
- 1880 First publication of the "Crown" (weekly) in Yerevan. Vasak Papaganyan is the editor.
- 1891 Death of writer Khachatur Meessakyan.
- 1907 Death of Hambardzoom Alatjatjyan, the editor of "Poonj" daily.
- 1920 Opening of the Jury Court in Yerevan.
- 1921 Soghomon Tehlirian executes Talaat Pasha in his hiding place in Berlin (Germany). Talaat was one of the perpetrators of the 1915 Armenian Genocide which killed about one million Armenians. Tehlirian was tried and found innocent of murder because of the nature of the person he killed. Despite this, today, Talaat is revered in Turkey.
- 1924 Yerevan's cotton factory starts operations.
- 1935 Birth of Leonid Yengibaryan (circus actor). He died in 1972.
- 1954 The first group of Armenia's "komsomols" go to work Kazakhstan's new agricultural lands.
- 1959 Fifth election of the Armenian Supreme Council.