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Uruguay Plans Armenian Genocide Museum

They may be 8,000 miles apart, but Uruguay and Armenia have a history together. And, so, perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Latin American country is slotted to become the first state apart from Armenia to build a museum dedicated to Ottoman Turkey's World-War-I-era slaughter of ethnic Armenians.

The museum in Montevideo is scheduled to open in 2015, on the centennial anniversary of the killings, and will have rooms dedicated to other genocides as well, local officials say.

Armenia's tensions with Turkey over the massacre play out in various venues around the world, and national takes on the subject tend to be commensurate with the size and influence of Armenian Diasporas. 

Uruguay is home to one of the oldest Armenian communities in South America and many of its members are descendants of victims of the killings. Several Armenian churches, and non-profit groups exist, along with Armenian-language radio stations and a newspaper.

In 1965, Uruguay became the first country – even ahead of Armenia itself, which was under Soviet rule at the time – to recognize the massacre as genocide. It once even mulled recognition of Nagorno Karabakh, an ethnic-Armenian disputed territory that most of the world places under Azerbaijan’s jurisdiction.

Turkey views the massacre as a casualty of war and resists Armenian’s struggle to secure international recognition of the slaughter as genocide. It has not yet responded to the Uruguayan museum's construction.

Uruguay Plans Armenian Genocide Museum

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