Once a fountainhead of Armenian culture, the fortress city of Shushi became a large commercial and administrative center in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed a strong multi-ethnic presence. Unfortunately, in 1920 the city was set ablaze by Turkish nationalist mobsand its Armenian population destroyed.
Liberated in 1992, in what is widely considered the turning point in the Karabagh war, Shushi now stands as the emblem of Karabagh’s liberation. To help promote Shushi as a contemporary center of culture and heritage, the Foundation renovated the Shushi Historical Museum which has been in severe disrepair since the war. The Foundation “adopted” the museum in 2004 and for six years worked to convert it into a state-of-the-art facility that can serve as a historic monument, tourist attraction, and educational tool for the local population.
Among our efforts, we have renovated the museum’s roof and second floor (which contains the library and main exhibition halls). In collaboration with then-Director AshotHarutyunyan, we also brought curators from the Armenian Library & Museum of America and designers from DEEM Communications who helped redesign the museum’s displays, exhibit spaces, and overall curatorial approach.Renovation of the library was also completed through the generosity of several co-sponsors.
The renovation’s most prominent supporter was Gen. ArkadiiTer-Tadevosian (Comandos), who led the 1992 military action that liberated Shushi. A 3-D light-action model chronicling Ter-Tadevosian’s dramatic military operation was created and installed thanks to a generous donation by the Maroukhian Family of the USA, made in memory of VaheMaroukhian.
Our next step had been to convert the ground-floor courtyard into a multi-use concert/ reception space. However, this effort was halted in 2010 when the NKR Department of Tourism assumed responsibility for the museum. We look forward to seeing further improvements to the museum in the future.