Self-defense Battle Monument in Musaler [Musa Dagh] village, Armenia

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Subject:The defenders and fallen heroes of the 40 Days of Musaler [Musa Dagh] resistance during 1915 Armenian Genocide. (view image)
Type of Memorial:Monumental Sculpture
Sponsor(s):Financial support of Soviet Armenian and Diaspora community of Musaler ancestry.
Architect/Designer/Artist:Architect: Rafael Israelian and Sculptor: Ara Haroutounian.
Placement:Freestanding red tufa architectural work; it consists of a fortress-like monument with iconographic façade and inscription. Erected on a small hill.
Physical Setting:On a hill overlooking the village.
Tourist Amenities:No
Physical Condition:Well preserved.
Inscription:“To the heroic self-defense battle of Musa Ler.”
Location:Musaler monument
Musaler, Armarvir Province Armenia
Location Description:Musaler village is located southeast of Ejmiatsin, in Armavir Province.
Proposal Date:after 1965
Construction Began:Late 1960’s
Construction Completed:1976
Dedication Date:September 16, 1976
Prior Use of Site:Unused hill, property of the state.
Development/Construction Process:Since the authorities of the Soviet Union never officially acknowledged the fact of the Armenian Genocide, those monuments commemorating the victims of the Genocide built under the Soviet rule were abstracted in one way or the other; here it is done by commemorating the defenders of the Battles of Musaler. This memorial is among those Soviet monuments which were initiated and financed by the local community members and never received an official dedication. It symbolizes the heroic and courageous self-defense.
History of Ownership:Owned by the Soviet State before 1991 & the State of Armenia after 1991.
Commemorative Activities:Every year, in mid-September, there is a celebration of the battle with distribution of a special food called “harisa.” The celebration is attended by thousands of people from Armenia and Diaspora.
Additional Information:Editorial Broad of Armenian Encyclopedia. The Armenian Question. Yerevan: 1996.


Cultural Ministry of Soviet Armenia & Ethnography Museum. Musaler, Yerevan: 1975. (Brochure in Russian)


Cultural Ministry of Soviet Armenia & Ethnography Museum. Musaler, Yerevan: 1975, cover picture.