Press Release; A Memorial Ceremony in Honor of the Norwegian Biorn

Press Release
July 19, 2008

Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute
RA, Yerevan 0028
Memorial Complex of Tsitsernakaberd
Tel.: (374 10) 39 09 81
Fax: (374 10) 39 10 41
e-mail : [email protected]

A Memorial Ceremony in Honor of the Norwegian
Missionary and Armenia Advocate Bodil Biørn

At 10.40am, on July 22nd of 2008, the Armenian Genocide
Museum-Institute is sponsoring a memorial plaque dedication ceremony in
honor of the famous Norwegian missionary Bodil Biørn.
The ceremony will begin at the AGMI’s Gomidas Hall with the
presentation of the film `They call me mother’; a featured movie at the
2008 `Golden Apricot’ Film Festival. Attending the ceremony are the
members of Bodil Biørn’s family traveling from Norway to Armenia.
The ceremony will also feature the presentation of a photo album of
Eastern Armenia captured by Bodil Biørn. This greatly preserved album
includes photos of the Armenian Genocide and images of life after the
genocide. The presentation will also introduce letters, journals and
other testimonial documents that authenticate the genocide of 1915.
At 12am, the ceremony will be concluded with the placement of a piece
of soil bringing from the tomb of Biørn in the `Memorial Wall’ of the
Tsisernakaberd Memorial Complex.

* Bodil Biørn was born in 1987 in the Norwegian city of Kragerø. In
1905, while working for the `Women Miss
ionary Workers’ organization,
she was sent to the Ottoman Empire, first at the city of Mezereh, and
later in Mush, where her primary interaction was with widows and
orphans. Biørn became an eyewitness of the Armenian Genocide and
documented the developments of massacres through her photography.
In 1917, she returned to Norway for a short amount of time, before she
left to the newly formed Armenian Republic where she established an
orphanage and took care of Armenian refugees from the genocide.
Furthermore, after establishing an orphanage in Armenia she moved to
Syria and engaged in a successful effort of establishing an orphanage
for the survivors. Up until 1934, she continued her services to the
Armenian people and her engagement in the life of the orphan survivors.
Bodil Biørn past away in 1960, but her memory and her work remains
alive in the heart of Armenians today.