Claude-Armen Mutafian: “Being an Armenian is a challenge, a destiny”
The key to the success of the renowned French-Armenian mathematician, historian, Armenologist Claude-Armen Mutafian is his personal strength: a person who is endowed with a charismatic character – charm, magnetism, inner strength, voice intonation, gaze, gait, self-confidence. According to me, in order to characterize a person, one should also characterize his human qualities, revealing the individual through his actions and deeds.
Claude-Armen Mutafyan received numerous awards. He is also a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, Honorary doctor of Yerevan State University, Professor of Sorbonne University and on October 22 he was awarded the Movses Khorenatsi” medal (more details can be found her)․
Claude-Armen Mutafian was recently in Armenia and presented his new book dedicated to Jerusalem and the role and significance of Armenian people of Jerusalem between XI-XV centuries.
His passion has always been History. He is the author of many articles and books dealing with the Genocide and Karabagh, but his main field of interest remains the Medieval period, in particular Cilician Armenia and its relations with the Crusaders and the Mongols. His first book on that topic, “Cilicia at the crossroad of Empires”, in two volumes, was published in 1988, and soon after translated into Armenian, while his “Historical Atlas of Armenia” (2001), covering thirty centuries, has also come out in Russian and in Armenian. In 2002 “Le Royaume Arménien de Cilicie, XIIe-XIVe siècle” was published. In 2010, his book entitled “The 12 Capitals of Armenia” (“Les douze capitales d’Arménie”) was published in French (editors: Claude-Armen Mutafian, Patrick Donabedian), in 2012, the work “L’ Armenie Du Levant”, which presented the role and significance of Armenian people in political, commercial, economic and state sectors.
To make Armenia known to the world, Claude-Armen Mutafian organized three big exhibitions: “The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia” (Sorbonne Chapel, Paris, 1993), “Rome-Armenia” (Vatican, Sistine Hall, 1998) and “The Magic of Writing” (Marseille, 2007).
This time, Mr. Mutafian came to Armenia to present the recently published book “Jerusalem and the Armenians of Jerusalem”. Thus, taking advantage of the opportunity, the State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia invited him to present his book to students and professors of the Academy.
According to the author, one of the most important merits of the book is the discovery of the gems of the Armenian manuscript culture. It has an exclusive educational and cognitive significance. Claude-Armen Mutafian also notes that the album-book was published by the internationally renowned “Belle Lettre” publishing house. “The book presents the Armenian lancets kept in the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Holy City since the 5th century, the Armenian mosaics preserved in different churches of Jerusalem, the valuable scepters of the kings of Cilicia, the patent kept in the Patriarchate and attributed to Salah ad-Din,” says the author.
I want to end my speech about Claude-Armen Mutafyan, with the following lines. When Mutafian is asked whether it is easy for him to be Armenian, he answers: “I represent two cultures here in France. Being an Armenian and, let’s say, being French are completely different things. You may be Armenian by origin, your last name may end in -Yan, but that still does not mean that you are Armenian. Being Armenian is a test, a challenge, a destiny. It is a choice of a difficult destiny full of trials.”
Head of International Relations Department