Genocide Survivor’s Suitcase to be on Display at Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute
YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)—Visitors of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan will soon be able to see Armenian Genocide survivor Aurora Mardiganian’s suitcase, which she used while traveling across the United States for showings of the historic 1919 film, “Auction of Souls”.
According to Hayk Demoyan, director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, the suitcase will replenish the exhibition of the Museum-Institute beginning on July 15.
“This suitcase was specially made for long journeys. Aurora Mardiganian used it based on her story and while traveling in the USA during the film shows in which she herself played,” said Demoyan.
At the opening ceremony of the 12th Golden Apricot Internationa Film Festival taking place this week in Yerevan, Demoyan introduced audiences to the story of Arshaluys (Aurora) Mardiganian, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide.
Born in Cemisgezek, twenty miles north of Kharpert (modern day Elazig) in 1901, Mardiganian was 14 years old when the Genocide began. After escaping to New York with the help of Near East Relief, a film was made based on a book written by Mardiganian about her experiences during the Genocide. Ravished Armenia: The Story of Aurora Mardiganian, the Christian Girl Who Survived the Great Massacres became the 1919 film “Auction of Souls” which starred Mardiganian.
The suitcase which Mardiganian used while travelling the US for showings of the film was discovered by the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute with the support of Vivacell-MTS Director General Ralph Yirikian. It was transferred to Armenia with the help of Hrach Hannesyan.
Mardiganian’s name, and the name of the film are both written on the suitcase.