The unique symbolic role of Mount Ararat was the focus of an exhibition that opened on December 7, 2009 at 6:30 p.m., featuring the works of Lebanese photographer Gilbert Hage.
Titled "Ararat in Beirut," the exhibition is organized by the Hamazkayin Lucy Tutunjian Art Gallery, in cooperation with Espace Kettaneh Kunigk (Galerie Tanit), Beirut.
The welcome speech in Arabic was given by Mirelle Joulouyan, who presented the biography of the photographer, while describing the messages transmitted through the photos on display — Ararat that is always present in the homes of Armenians as a symbol of the collective memory and struggle of the Armenian people.
At the end of her speech, Joulouyan said the exhibited photos would be of interest to all Lebanese, and especially Armenians living in Lebanon, who could see different representations of the unique meaning of Mount Ararat.
The exhibited pictures present Ararat in different ways — real photos, paintings, etc. — as well as in various contexts — in the houses of intellectuals, painters and artists.
Hage said the idea behind the project was to find out what ties Armenians to their past. After a long research process, he concluded that Mount Ararat is an important symbol for Armenians and a means to stay attached to their roots. For this reason, he chose to shed light on this topic.
Hage said that while working on the project, he had understood that Ararat is sacred for Armenians — every Armenian has an inexplicable and indescribable attachment to it. So it is an important symbol that can bring Armenians together.
Hage also noted that Ararat is special for the entire humankind. It is linked to the unique story of Noah's Ark.
The exhibition will run till December 14, 2009.