At the Royal Castle in Warsaw, on November 28, 2019, the opening ceremony of the 28th Historical Book Fair and the awarding of KLIO awards took place.
The KLIO Historical Award has been awarded since 1995 to book authors and publishers for their particular contribution to the promotion of history. Not only the cognitive value of books is assessed, but also their graphic design. The publications are awarded for publishing interesting series and thematic cycles. This year’s ceremony began with a reading of a letter from the President of Poland Andrzej Duda, who took this year’s trade fair under the national patronage of the centenary of regaining independence. Then came the chairman of the Agreement of Historical Book Publishers Zbigniew Czerwiński and the official opening of the Fair was made by the director of the Royal Castle Wojciech Fałkowski. Professor Tomasz Szarota, chairman of the jury of the KLIO Award, pointed out that good, very well prepared books were awarded, and in the case of the editorial category – beautifully published. He assessed that books awarded in the editorial category were at the highest world level. And here I have to inform readers that Armenian Poland published by the Foundation for the Culture and Heritage of Polish Armenians was among the items awarded with this award. The authors of the position, professors Krzysztof Stopka and Andrzej Zięba, as well as the wonderful graphic design by Monika Zołoteńka were appreciated. This wonderful distinction is another one, after the award received in 2013 by “Armenian Warsaw”. More detailed information on the website of the Museum of Polish History and the Polish Press Agency: Klio Award 2019
Events at the beginning of June in a rather sad way reminded us how difficult is to protect historic and cultural heritage. Gdansk fire , about that we are writing on pages 1 an 2 , might have caused more severe losses . However this what was destroyed clearly shows how historic buildings and objects related to the Armenian heritage in Poland may be sensitive to effects of elements. We still need to make great efforts, not to talk about costs ,to protect this heritage from degradation and destruction.
The protection of inheritance appears as particularly important topic in the context of consecutive anniversary ,this time 104th one, of Armenians genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
Then a great part of the Armenian heritage, both written and transmitted orally, was irretrievably destroyed. Written sources were destroyed by burning of libraries and destroying of Armenian monasteries while oral ones through murdering of people starting from clergymen, intellectuals to musicians and artists. These irreversible losses imposed on those who survived the genocide and Armenians in the Diaspora more relevant duty to save what was left.
In case of Poland the problem of protection of heritage was additionally influenced by persecutions during the world war II and postwar compulsory migrations. Items that were saved and transported across the borders of post-war Poland to this day are under the care of, among others, of Foundation of Culture and Heritage of Polish Armenians. Fortunately, contemporary Poland gives a lot of opportunities in the field of protecting the heritage and allows as well for cultivating freely own traditions and customs. It is thanks to the support of the Polish state that such an organization like our Foundation can function and magazine like this one may be published, Celebrating this year the 10th anniversary of “Awedis” in connection with the 10th (autumn) number we should remember about that.
After many years the Polish Academy of Sciences with the consent of state authorities
called into existence the Research Center on Armenian Culture in Poland.
On 21st of September 2019 took place in Cracow unusually momentous ceremony especially for Polish Armenians community. Then the inauguration of activities of this scientific institution was held.
For this inaugural meeting the guests from Poland and abroad were invited. These were scientists interested in the subject themes. The meeting took place in the University Museum Collegium Maius. The welcoming speeches were given by the hosts of the event Prof.dr Andrzej Stopka and the President of the Academy of Sciences Prof.dr Jan Ostrowski.
Dr Andrzej Zieba delivered the lecture under the title “The culture of Polish Armenians as the subject of research”. Afterwards he also presented the program and staff of the center. In the discussion that followed took part the scientists , representatives of academic centers from Poland and abroad. There was also appointed the scientific council and the President of the Academy of Science gave in nominations to those who were called.
After break the audience had opportunity to listen to the extremely interesting lecture of the guest from the congregation of Mechitarists Father Wardapet Wahan Ohanian. Its title was “ Father Gewond Aliszan – poet and historian of bright Armenia”. The lecture was dedicated to the person of an outstanding and broadly educated scientist and poet who devoted whole his life mainly to Armenological research.
Later during the meeting we went to the senate room in order to listen to the historians mr Jakub Osiecki and mrs Jolanta Slawinska. They presented the description and history of XIX century Armenian velum from Musz being exposed there. After many complicated circumstances this velum is in the collections of the Museum of Jagiellonian University at present.
The final element of this inaugural meeting was the commemorative photo taken at the courtyard of Collegium Maius.