17 year-old Yerevan resident Mikayel Harutyunyan won this year’s “Remembering the Holocaust – Path to tolerance” competition organized by The International Russian Holocaust Center.
Harutyunyan, a painter, won the competition (held in Moscow from January 23-26) with a canvas entitled “Broken Childhood”.
The young artist told Hetq that he has two canvases dedicated to the victims of the1915 Armenian Genocide.
“I decided to paint about the holocaust of the Jews,” notes Mikayel, 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.”
Mikayel relates 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,” said Mikayel.
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.