On September 5, the opening ceremony of the exposition dedicated to the activities of the Lazarian noble dynasty took place in Matenadaran. During the ceremony the Acting Director of Matenadaran Vahan Ter-Ghevondian, senior researcher of Matenadaran Bakhtiar Hovakimyan, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Armenia Ivan made speeches.
  Vahan Ter-Ghevondian mentioned in his speech the great contribution of the New Julfa’s Armenians in all spheres of the people’s life. Speaking about the Lazarians, Ter-Ghevondian emphasized the role of the Lazarian Seminary in the cultural life of Armenia, in the development of Oriental Studies in Russia and the USSR as well as in the preparation of diplomats. “This dynasty has been engaged in so many activities in its time that are not fully explored to date or properly publicized. Representatives of different nationalities received a high level of education at the same time deeply respecting each other’s religions and cultures. It was a unique center for cultural intercourse and tolerance, where friendship between peoples was a natural phenomenon,” said the Acting Director.
  The next speaker, Matenadaran’s employee Bakhtiar Hovakimyan, briefly presented the spheres of the Lazarian Dynasty’s activities, their noble high titles and their roles in various spheres of scientific, cultural and social life of Armenia, Russia and other countries. “There were many philanthropists in the world, there are and will be, but the Lazarians do not have a competitor with their diversity,” said B. Hovakimyan:
  Ambassador of Russia to Armenia Ivan Volinkin congratulated the participants on the opening of the exhibition, particularly emphasizing the value and role of the seminary in the scientific and cultural life of Armenia and Russia. “This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries and the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. These numbers rely on the centuries-old friendship and spiritual attachment of our peoples, in which the Lazarian dynasty occupies an honorable place. “
  Vahan Ter-Ghevondian expressed gratitude to the RA Ministry of Culture for its support, especially the publication of the catalog, Yeghishe Charents Museum of Literature and Art and the director Karo Vardanyan for providing valuable documents, Matenadaran’s employee Bakhtiar Hovakimyan, who is the author of the text of the catalog, Anahit Astoyan, who made the selection and annotations of the exhibited items, Andranik and Ashot Mkrtchyan, who shaped the exhibition, Aida Charkhchyan and Amalya Shahumyan for the translation, Ara Khzmalyan for the coordination of works, as well as the employees of the Matenadaran Armen Malkhasyan, Tatevik Muradyan and Gurgen Gasparyan for their participation in organization of the exhibition.
  Then the attendees went to the exhibition hall, where they were presented with vastly valuable and rare papers, exceptional historical documents, unique photographs and medals stored in the collections of the Mashtots Matenadaran and the Charents Museum of Literature and Art. Manuscripts from the Lazarians Fund of Matenadaran are also displayed.
The Lazarians have played significant role in Iran and particularly in the Armenian life of New Julfa. Setting up in Russia in the mid-18th century, they have made a great contribution to the economy and enlightenment of the country. Their role in strengthening of the Armenian-Russian friendly relations, the development and enrichment of Armenian and Russian cultures is enormous. By the efforts of the Lazarians, in 1805 the Armenian cemetery “Vagankovskoe” was founded in Moscow, where St. Harutyun church was erected. In 1815 the famous Lazarian Seminary opened its doors and in 1829 a publishing house adjacent to the educational center was launched. Alongside the Seminary a theater was operating. In 1827, the Lazarian Seminary transformed into the Institute of Oriental Languages, which played a great role in Oriental Studies, as well as in formation of diplomatic thinking in Russia and the USSR. Famous Armenian and Russian writers, cultural figures, philologists and historians have studied at the Lazarian Seminary.
  The exhibition presents the glorious path of the Lazarian dynasty.