Armenia Wins Venice Biennale 2015 Golden Lion Award

VENICE (A.W.)—Armenia’s national pavilion won the Venice Biennale 2015 Golden Lion award for Best National Participation on May 9. The pavilion, entitled “Armenity,” is dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide and curated by renowned international curator Adelina Cuberyan von Furstenberg.

Pavillion curator Adelina Cuberyan von Furstenberg accepts the award on behalf of Armenia (photo:
Pavillion curator Adelina Cuberyan von Furstenberg accepts the award on behalf of Armenia (photo:

Armenia’s pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale “provided an occasion to rethink the notion of Armenianess and broaden this reflection to the concepts of identity type and memory, justice and reconciliation, in the name of which many contemporary struggles are still taking place,” according to the official website of “Armenity.”

The pavilion, which features several artists from the Armenian Diaspora, opened on May 6 and will run through October 18 at the Mekhitarist Monastery on the Island of San Lazzaro in Venice, a site of great historical significance to Armenians.

The Venice Biennale was founded in 1895 and it is considered one of the most prestigious cultural organizations in the world. The major contemporary art exhibition takes place every two years.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. The remarkable history of the Armenians in Venice is captured in the new novel by Avery Mann called Persona Non Grata: End of the Great Game. Much of the action takes place at San Lazaro, but the history goes back to Byzantine General Nerses, an Armenian, who led 35,000 troops in the reign of Emperor Justinian to retake the region of Venice for Rome from the Gothic invaders that previously forced Rome to relocate to Constantinople.

  2. What does have to do with the piece at hand? Armenians had entire Armenian Quarter sin Venice and Ravenna dating back to multiple emperors during Byzantine times. What is relevant here is how we move forward as people in diaspora and represent ourselves, both to ourselves and the world. How we keep our language-Western Armenian-and culture alive. (Perhaps by buidldng schools and cultural centers as opposed tio quasi useless churches every second street?) The Armenian presence in venice , unfortunately, is historical and over apart from a few priests on San Lazzaro–they even closed the College Mourat Raphael, one of two existing Armenian boarding schools and which trained some of our leading intellectuals and business pepple for over one hundred and fifty years.

  3. And Bravo to Adelina and the artists: Aram Jibilian, Silvina der Meguerditchian, Nina Katch etc…! Well done!

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