The movement of repatriation of relics of Armenian culture is inextricably linked with the name of New York resident Harutyun Hazaryan. Hazaryan began collecting fragments of Armenian culture around the world following the Great Genocide on the advice of Archbishop Garegin Hovsepyan in the 1920s. He believed that the best place for the scattered values of Armenian culture is their motherland, where they can be safely preserved and studied.

“I am Armenian and feel proud to be a child of a small nation with a high culture. I can’t pass by the works of art indifferently without being enthusiastic and excited. We tried our best to protect them in our warm corner, and with our small ability, we tried to save them from loss as much as possible. I regret that I haven’t collected more…” – confesses the philanthropist.

Hazaryan was born in Caesarea in 1895 and studied at Kyumushyan College. He later moved to the USA, where he traded fur coats and participated actively in American-Armenian public life. He was always focused on his native country and contributed to its restoration and growth. Hazaryan’s main focus was on medieval manuscripts, and he saved hundreds of Armenian and foreign language manuscripts from loss during his lifetime. He sent to Yerevan 300 valuable manuscripts in Eastern languages, including Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hindu, Sanskrit, and Ethiopian, along with 24 fragments of old manuscripts in Armenian and Georgian. In 1969, for participating in the centenary celebrations of Tumanyan’s birth, he brought three Armenian manuscripts from the 13th and 14th centuries, and one of them was illustrated with miniatures by Sargis Pitsak. Most of his collection was donated to Matenadaran, where they are kept with special care.

In conclusion, the exclusive samples donated by Harutyun Hazaryan are now on display at the exhibition entitled “Cherished Names, Homecoming of Manuscripts”. Hazaryan’s contribution to preserving Armenian culture is invaluable, and he is one of the famous donors of Matenadaran.