Construction of new Armenian school in France launches in Valence
Panarmenian – The Mayor of Valence, Nicolas Daragon, attended the land blessing ceremony for a future French-Armenian daily school – the eighth in the country – in the city on Sunday, November 26.
The ceremony was officiated by Bishop Norvan Zakarian and Reverend Fathers Nareg Vartanian and Antranik Maldjian, the school’s administration said in a Facebook post.
The Valence Armenian Cultural Center has embarked on the ambitious but much needed project to build the bilingual school in the city.
There are 7 Franco-Armenian schools in France ( Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Nice), but Valence is the only city with a strong Armenian community not to have a daily school, although 10% of its citizens are of Armenian origin.
After the Genocide of 1915, many Armenians took refuge in France in the 1920s, with the first several hundred Armenians being recruited by Valence employers in 1923. As of 1997, 7,500 people in Valence belonged to the Armenian community, turning it into one of the largest in France: the Armenian National Union is also based in Valence.
In the commune’s Armenian quarter, a street is named after Armenia and a square is named afterFrench-Armenian poet and activist Missak Manouchian.