White House Refuses Smithsonian Request For Armenian Rug Display

Nothing like denying history to avoid hurt feelings.

The rug was woven by orphans in the 1920s and formally presented to the White House in 1925. A photograph shows President Calvin Coolidge standing on the carpet, which is no mere juvenile effort, but a complicated, richly detailed work that would hold its own even in the largest and most ceremonial rooms.

If you can read a carpet's cues, the plants and animals depicted on the rug may represent the Garden of Eden, which is about as far removed as possible from the rug’s origins in the horrific events of 1915, when the fracturing and senescent Ottoman Empire began a murderous campaign against its Armenian population. Between 1 million and 1.5 million people were killed or died of starvation, and others were uprooted from their homes in what has been termed the first modern and systematic genocide. Many were left orphans, including the more than 100,000 children who were assisted by the U.S.-sponsored Near East Relief organization, which helped relocate and protect the girls who wove the "orphan rug." It was made in the town of Ghazir, now in Lebanon, as thanks for the United States’ assistance during the genocide.

There was hope that the carpet, which has been in storage for almost 20 years, might be displayed Dec. 16 as part of a Smithsonian event that would include a book launch for Hagop Martin Deranian's "President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug." But on Sept. 12, the Smithsonian scholar who helped organize the event canceled it, citing the White House’s decision not to loan the carpet. [...]

Last week, the White House issued a statement: "The Ghazir rug is a reminder of the close relationship between the peoples of Armenia and the United States. We regret that it is not possible to loan it out at this time."

That leaves the rug, and the sponsors of the event, in limbo, a familiar place for Armenians. Neither Ara Ghazarians of the Armenian Cultural Foundation nor Levon Der Bedrossian of the Armenian Rugs Society can be sure if the event they had helped plan was canceled for the usual political reason: fear of negative reaction from Turkey, which has resolutely resisted labeling the events at the end of the Ottoman Empire a genocide. But both suspect it might have been.

(Hat Tip: Jihad Watch)

Posted by: DMartyr at 06:53 AM


1 Obama is emulating Erdogan's method of islamizing a Nation. This is Erdogan's formula that Obama is following; Destroy the military's neutral base and persecute Christians while elevating moslems thru special privileges. Politicize and islamize the civilian military controls, Indoctrinate military personel to accept islam and dictate traditional National values to be criminal if they oppose islamic teachings. Why on Earth would Obama want to antagonize his mentor, Erdogan?

Posted by: crackermike at October 26, 2013 09:28 AM

2 crackermike, you are a seer! I will hire you in my administration.

Posted by: EROWMER at October 26, 2013 04:51 PM

3 Put BHO & VJ on a C130 with parachutes, fly over Ankara, open the cargo door, and push them out. They can begin new lives in Turkey and help create the new caliphate and restart the Ottoman Empire. Allahu Akbar!

Posted by: Angel with a sword at October 26, 2013 08:32 PM

4 They should darn well continue with the exhibition and where that rug was supposed to be have a notice saying why it aint there with a fucking great picture of Obama.

Posted by: Axel at October 27, 2013 06:22 AM

5 Obongo doesn't see the rug as belonging to We the People. He sees it as his own personal property. Most people probably wouldn't loan out their own rug so Obongo has no inclination to do so.

Posted by: Richard at October 27, 2013 08:59 AM

6 Just as well the carpet is not out in public where a muzzleman with knife can get at it. Perhaps the next President will discourage the religion of angry children of such behavior. If there is a next president.

Posted by: Storm Saxon's Gall Bladder at October 27, 2013 09:12 AM

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