Kim Kardashian, the US celebrity who conquered the Internet, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who conquered Crimea, will be among the VIPs to visit Armenia this month for the 100th anniversary of the mass slaughter of ethnic Armenians in Ottoman Turkey.
TV star Kardashian, her rapper husband Kanye West and much of her Armenian-American clan are headed this week to the tiny South Caucasus country that is the Kardashians’ paternal homeland, celebrity-news site X17 reported on April 4. The trip will be filmed for E!’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” television show.
Already, she has begun her preparations.
Concerned about her roots, Kardashian changed her look from platinum blonde back to brunette for the pilgrimage, US Magazine noted; a shade perhaps also seen as better suited for the occasion.
Putin may have made no similar adjustments, but, unlike Kardashian, he confirmed plans to attend the official commemoration ceremony itself on April 24.
Nonetheless, Kardashian’s presence in the country will help Armenia in what is proving to be fierce competition with Turkey over April 24, a date Ankara has selected to remember the landmark 1915 Battle of Gallipoli.
Yerevan and Ankara have accused one another of deliberately timing their respective commemorations to leave the world’s leaders and celebrities with an uncomfortable choice. The two countries are closely comparing RSVPs.
Britain’s Prince Charles and Prince Harry will be going to Turkey to attend the centennial anniversary of the disastrous, World-War-I-era Allied campaign to move on the German-allied Ottoman Empire.
But Yerevan seems to be in the lead on the show-business front.
The California-based, alternative-rock band System of a Down, made up of Diaspora Armenians, will perform in Yerevan on the eve of the April-24 ceremonies.
The city is also expecting Hollywood’s George Clooney and his lawyer wife, Amal Clooney, who represents Armenia in a genocide-denial case at the European Court of Human Rights.
Kardashian might seem to be an effective PR weapon in this April-rivalry, but her impact is hard to predict. The E! audience is not known for a robust interest in world-history, and, as the BBC reported a few years back, Kardashian is both loved and hated in Armenia.