The Church of Saint Willibrord in Antwerp, Belgium, opened its doors to the Flemings to remind them of the Armenian Genocide that took place a century ago and as a result of its impunity, the recent Artsakh war. The author of the exhibition is Flemish investigative journalist Jens De Rycke, who twice visited Armenia and Artsakh at the invitation of the Armenian National Committee on April 24, 2019, and immediately after the recent Artsakh war.
According to Kaspar Karampetian, President of the Armenian National Committee of Europe, such initiatives are very important, as they complement and strengthen the struggle in the political arena. And the Flemish journalist Jens De Rycke says that seeing the destroyed Artsakh is another proof that the Turkish-Azerbaijani desire to exterminate the Armenians is more than urgent. He, in his turn, wants to inform people through exhibitions and articles in order to prevent future genocides.
Many people in Europe today know about the conflicts in Libya and Syria, but when you name Nagorno-Karabakh, it does not mean much to them. It was very important for me to shed light on the Artsakh conflict. People should know about the Armenians living in Artsakh under the constant threats of Azerbaijan. These people have the right to self-determination. My mission and the purpose of this exhibition is to inform people about Artsakh and the people living there.
Peter de Roover, member of the Belgian Federal Parliament who played a significant role in the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, came to the opening of the exhibition to express his support once again.
Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is important not only for Armenia but also for the region. As for Nagorno-Karabakh, thanks to such exhibitions, people in Belgium discover Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, because, unfortunately, nobody here in Belgium talks about it. It is, in a sense, a forgotten war, a forgotten region for our people.
From the ruins of Ani to the bombed-out Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Artsakh. The exhibition is the mirror of the Armenian destiny. The Flemish VOS Peace Association established during the First World War supported the initiative. The goal is one: to do everything possible and impossible for world peace. According to the head of the association Dominic Potters, during the days of the Artsakh war, it once again became clear that the Armenian Genocide is an unhealed wound.
Dominic Potters (Head of the Flemish VOS Peace Association) - The joint efforts of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Israel to eliminate a small country have sobered us up once again. I thought, my God, why is the international community not responding? Such exhibitions can show the direct connection between the Armenian Genocide and the recent Artsakh War.
The exhibition will tour several Flemish cities, and investigative journalist Jens De Rycke will present his analysis of the direct connection between the Armenian Genocide and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is ignored by many Europeans, in the form of a book in the near future.