17-Year-Old Yerevan Painter Wins Holocaust Painting Competition


BrokenCHildhood2

YEREVAN (Hetq) — Mikayel Harutyunyan, 17, of Yerevan, won this year’s “Remembering the Holocaust – Path to tolerance” painting competition organized by The International Russian Holocaust Center, on January 26.

His winning canvas was titled “Broken Childhood.”

The young artist told Hetq that he has two canvases dedicated to the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

“I decided to paint about the Holocaust of the Jews,” notes Harutyunyan, adding that 1,200 individuals submitted entries to the competition.

According to the Center’s website: “The purpose of the competition is to create a environment for pupils, students and teacher in which they can try to develop a intensified knowledge about the history of the Holocaust. In addition, the competition wants to support their participants to create critical, independent and tolerant thinking and to increase the awareness of the participants for racism, chauvinism, nationalism and anti-Semitism.”

Harutyunyan said that visitors to the competition were attracted to his work but that he never imagined it would win any prize.

“When they announced that I had come in first place I was very happy. One of the Jewish students even wrote a poem in Armenian in my honor, dedicating it to Armenia,” he said.

In his speech, Dr. Shimon Samuels, director for International Relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that the painting would be displayed at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.