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06 06 23 - France: An exposure on Armenia censured......
From Jean Eckian, (Paris)

Three months before the opening of the "Year of Armenia" in France, and after several attacks negationnists on the French ground, of the representatives of the Turkish community in France made prohibit a photographic exhibition devoted to Armenia Saturday June 17, 2006, on the French pressure of Turkish origin, Mr. Andre Gerwig (apolitical), mayor of the town of Valentigney (east of France), decided to remove the exhibition of pictures of Antoine Agoudjian dedicated to the Armenians.
Programmed for several months within the framework of the festival "Rythmes et Couleurs", this exhibition had joined together 40 splendid photographs in black and white (extracted the book "Les Yeux brûlants", 2006), carried out in Armenia and Turkey between 1989 and 1999.
They are the captions of two photos which poked the anger of the representatives Turkish. Thus, the first described "a city inhabited in majority by descendants of armenian genocide of 1915, originating
in Sassoun, currently in Turkey". And the second illustrated a gathering of people in front of the mausoleum of Yerevan, under which "Memorial of the genocide perpetrated by Turkey in 1915 was written during which a million and half of Armenians perished".
As of the opening of the exhibition, French ten of Turkish origin prohibited to the public the access to the photographs. "We feel insulted by this exhibition; the Armenian genocide is not a reality ! Deaths, he was at the end of a very hard war!" the one of them said. Another added "We cannot agree to be shown with the finger!" - "the historians do not agree all" - "We are wounded". (note Jean Eckian:
French Parliament recognized in 2001 the reality of the Armenian genocide of 1915).
The municipality of Valentigney required of the photographer Antoine Agoudjian to remove the two accused captions, but "he refused", underlines the first assistant of the mayor of the city.... As for the author of pictures, recognized in France like a great professional, he was indignant by this "serious attack to the freedom of expression"
and adds, "would have - one to remove an artistic work because it disturbs? Is this normal to yield to the pressure ?" In November 2006, the French socialist party should submit to the Parliament a text penalizing the negation of the Armenian genocide.


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