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Exhibition on Stalinist Repressions ‘Reeked of Dashnaks, Sodomy and Soros’

An exhibition dedicated to the victims of the Bolshevik tyranny called “Eclipse,” which opened in early August in the Hovhannes Tumanyan’s house-museum in Yerevan, has been closed after an appeal from Armenia’s Ministry of Culture.

The decision was announced by the director of the museum, Narine Tukhikyan, who said the reason for closing the exhibition was “some slander.” Tukhikyan was reportedly accused of receiving grants from the Soros foundation,  being a “propagandist of sodomy” and a dashnak.

In an interview for the Kentron TV channel, Tukhikyan alleged that the slander came from “circles which might include communists or representatives of a generation with an ancient, stereotypical way of thinking.”

“And to make to make [the closing] happen, they probably turned to certain structures and resorted to blackmail, I suppose,” she added.

Tukhikyan continued that on August 26 she had received a phone call from a man who spoke to her with a vocabulary of a person “who could easily be the leader of the Communist party” and charged that the exhibition “reeked of dashnaks.”

“He said, ‘I know you well; you get money from the Soros foundation,’ and then added that i was a ‘propagandist of sodomists.’ It took this man only a phone call to cook up a case on me.”

According to Tukhikyan, the Tumanyan museum couldn’t not have marked the 80-year anniversary of the 1937th, which symbolizes the apogee of the Stalinist repressions and the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, since the three sons of the Armenian writer were victims of Stalinist repressions, and Tumanyan’s fourth son – a victim of the Ottoman dictatorship.

Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am), deputy minister of culture Arev Samuelyan commented on the decision to close the exhibition: “We must look at history with a clear conscience; [the exhibition] was somewhat politicized. The society should have probably been prepared for it beforehand. The exhibition will be opened again once it undergoes some minor changes.”

Culture minister Armen Amiryan, for his part, told Factor.am that the exhibition was closed because it had not been sanctioned by the Ministry of Culture.