December 15
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YEREVAN. - On the second day of his visit to Armenia, Pope Francis will visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex Tsitsernakaberd, which was built in Yerevan in 1976.

The complex - located on the cognominal hill - is dedicated to the memory of 1.5 million Armenians, who died as a result of the Genocide organized by the Turkish authorities in the Ottoman Empire in the 1915s.

In 2015, the year marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Pope Francis served a mass in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican. In his address to the humanity he mentioned that the Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of the 20th century carried out on the ground of ethnicity.  

The administration of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, located on the territory of the complex, has prepared a symbolic gift for His Holiness. In the words of the institute's director, Hayk Demoyan, it will be a gold medal depicting the complex and  and an engraving with Christian motifs.

The Pope is expected to share his impressions in the museum's guest book.

The Museum-Institute was established in 1995. The two-storey construction is almost entirely under the ground. Different photos and publications witnessing about the atrocities against the Armenian nation are presented there. In May 2014, Forbes magazine included the museum in the list of 9 memorial museums which must see everyone.  

There is an alley not far from the museum, where the foreign dignitaries plant trees in memory of the victims of the tragic events. In 2001, Pope John Paul II, the first pontifex who visited the republic in the entire history of the Romanian Catholic church, also planted a fir tree there. Soon another fir tree planted by Pope Francis will appear in the alley.    

Besides, it is supposed that during the visit to the Complex, the Pope will meet with the Genocide survivors and their successors.  

''This is very symbolic and important. These people lived through horrible events, and have survived also thanks to the clergy of the Catholic church. And now they have an opportunity to meet with the head of the Catholic church,'' the Museum's Deputy Director Suren Manukyan said.   

This text available in   Հայերեն and Русский
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