The Armenian genocide, also called the Armenian holocaust, was a deliberate genocide, systematically carried out by the Ottoman Empire during World War I and a little afterwards over the Armenian population. The Armenian genocide is characterised with mass slaughter and forced mass deportation of over 1.5 million Armenians, carried out by the new Turkish authorities in the period 1915-1916. The repressions against the Armenian population started a few years before that, at the end of 19th century.
The Armenian genocide is officially acknowledged by the European Parliament and a number of European countries. In 2008, after the Bulgarian parliament did not successfully pass a declaration condemning the Armenian genocide, the municipal councils of a few Bulgarian cities voted in favour of acknowledging and condemning the Armenian genocide – Burgas was one of them.
The sculpture commemorating the victims of the Armenian genocide was created in 1990 by Harry Norhaik Arabyan. It’s placed in the centre of Burgas, next to one of the most beautiful buildings in the city – the Armenian Church.
The goal of the sculpture is to show how the destructive force of the genocide affected the unity of the Armenian people. The death and division of the nation, of those living in Armenia and the Diaspora, are symbolically represented by the dividing khachkar (stone plate) and by the missing parts, representing the victims of the genocide. Even though it’s divided in two the Khachkar also acts as a unifier of the Armenian Orthodox Church, both in Armenia and of the Diaspora. The bronze figure of the child personifies the Armenian people, still alive after the mass massacres and slaughter, which took over 1.5 million lives. The little boy is naked but covered by the armour of the glorious past and is a herald of the bright future of the people.