June 20, 2001

Washington, DC — Director of the Armenian National Institute (ANI) Dr. Rouben Adalian and founder of the Armenia Tree Project (ATP) and ANI Board Member Carolyn Mugar joined Armenian and Italian dignitaries along with international organizations in Yerevan last month to honor Giacomo Gorrini, an Italian Ambassador who came to the aid of Armenians during the 1915 Genocide.

Gorrini, who died in 1950, was commemorated during a series of events May 25 in Yerevan. Along with American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau and Vatican delegate Monsignor Dolci, Gorrini helped to save 50,000 Armenians from deportation during the Genocide.

Both the Armenian National Institute and the Armenia Tree Project participated as sponsors. ATP founder Mugar also serves on the ANI Board of Governors.

“Without the actions of Gorrini and other prominent humanitarians like our own Henry Morgenthau who came to the aid of the Armenian people and brought their plight to the attention of the outside world, the Armenian Genocide might have been overlooked,” said ANI’s Carolyn Mugar. “Dr. Adalian and I are honored, once again, to represent ANI in recognizing and remembering these great men.”

The conference portion of the events to honor Gorrini took place at Armenia’s Academy of Sciences May 25. Speakers included Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rouben Shugarian, Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute Dr. Laurenti Barseghian, President of the National Academy of Sciences Dr. Fadei Sargsian and Italian Ambassador to Armenia Paolo Andrea Trabalza. Italian parliamentarian (and sponsor of the Armenian Genocide resolution adopted last year in Rome) Giancarlo Pagliarini and Armenia’s Ambassador to Italy Gaghik Baghdassarian reviewed the process and recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Italy. Adalian discussed the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial project in Washington, DC. Mugar described the Tree Project’s goals and achievements in the reforestation of Armenia.

The memorial ceremony was held at the Armenian Genocide Museum where trees were planted in honor of Gorrini and a street in Yerevan was re-named after him. The daylong program mirrored that of the ANI delegation, which traveled to Armenia in 1999 to honor Ambassador Henry Morgenthau.

Gorrini was the founder of the Italian Foreign Ministry Archives and served as its first director. From 1911 to 1915, he was the Italian Consul in Trabzon, where he witnessed the deportation and killing of Armenians. He was the only Western ambassador assigned to independent Armenia. For 20 years, Gorrini continued to aid Armenians, helping those who wished to migrate from Turkey to Italy.

The Armenian National Institute is dedicated to the study, research and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. Visit its web site at .