July 13 2017
The Valley's Armenia: Saroyan House Museum Plans
By: Stefani Booroojian
Posted: Jul 13, 2017 08:05 PM PDT
Avag Simonyan is with the Intellectual Renaissance Foundation in Yerevan, Armenia. A non-profit with a mission to develop Armenian Heritage — even 7,000 miles away, in Fresno, California. Simonyan says the foundation has been studying William Saroyan and his work— much of which embraced his Armenian Heritage. The foundation formed a Saroyan club and holds events to celebrate the writer. Simonyan says when founder, Artur Janibekyan got wind of the poor condition of Saroyan's last Fresno home, he moved in. "They didn't preserve Saroyan's heritage. When our founder heard about that, he decided to bought it immediately. And we bought the house," Simonyan says.
Janibekyan is financing the entire project, to create a new type of museum. An out-of-the-box tribute that will include Saroyan's belongings, archives of his work, even a 3-D hologram of the writer himself that visitors can interact with. It's a concept created through a design contest in Armenia.
A unique tribute to a unique man who took pride in his heritage ."He give us a gift, the whole world a very important heritage because we have to preserve this heritage all over the world," says Simonyan.
The preservation will begin in the place of Saroyan's birth: Fresno, with more Saroyan tributes planned elsewhere in the future.