Planning started for Armenian Genocide memorial in Irvine

Planning started for Armenian Genocide memorial in Irvine

PanARMENIAN.Net - Orange County’s Armenian community welcomes news that Irvine is moving ahead with plans for an Armenian Genocide memorial in its Great Park, the Orange County Register reports.

“It’s an excellent decision, we’re pleased it passed unanimously,” said Garo Madenlian, chairman of the Armenian Cultural Foundation of Orange County and the Orange County Armenian Center.

Councilmember Tammy Kim, who requested the Great Park memorial be considered, said the pain felt from the Genocide is universal.

“I felt that it was important to provide a space for contemplation and education,” she said.

As next steps, City Manager Oliver Chi said city staffers are “reaching out and engaging with the project supporters to identify additional details.”

Concurrently, Chi said, city staffers are also putting together a program for considering memorial requests in the future.

He anticipates in the next month or so, staffers will be able to share additional details on the process through which the city will review these types of requests. More details on the location and timeline of the Armenian Genocide memorial will also be shared then, Chi said.

Additionally, Madenlian said, the Armenian community will be putting together a committee to work with the city and the Irvine Great Park Board regarding the design and location of the memorial.

Last year, Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan was in hot water with the Armenian community after a video surfaced in which she appeared to joke and laugh with representatives of Turkish local groups, among them a man who has been outspoken in denying the Armenian Genocide, community members said. Khan, at the time, said the genocide was not a topic of conversation and the video was released out of context; the meeting was one of many she had after winning her election in 2020, she said.

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