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The Armenian Khachkar Cross marks the 2015 commemoration at St Mary’s of the centenary of the meds yeghern, ‘the great crime’, the Armenian Genocide.

The genocide resulted in the rape, murder and deportation of more than 1.5 million Armenians from their historic homeland, and the destruction of a 3000-year-old culture. The genocide started on 24 April 1915 and most Armenian political, religious and cultural leaders were arrested and murdered. The remaining population of the elderly, women and children were rounded up by special organisation death squads and were forced to either renounce their Christianity or to be raped or massacred. Most of the survivors were deported from their ancestral lands and exiled around the world.

Note: A khachkar, also known as an Armenian cross-stone is a carved, memorial stele bearing a cross, and often with additional motifs such as rosettes,  interlaces, and botanical motifs.

The Armenian Apostolic Church in Sydney has adorned St Mary’s Cathedral with a beautiful traditional monument, unveiled and blessed by the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher OP on 18 December.

The intricately carved Khachkar, also called a cross-stone, is a gift from the Armenian community to the Archbishop and the Catholic Church in Sydney marking the hosting of a liturgy at St Mary’s in 2015 to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian genocide.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, whose own grandparents were orphaned in the 1915 horror orchestrated by the Turkish Ottoman government, joined Archbishop Fisher for the unveiling at the cathedral’s College St side.

Sculptor Artak Hambardzumayan spent four months hand-carving the one-tonne outdoor stele using warm rose-hued tuff stone which is unique to Armenia.

“Tuff rock is holy rock as far Armenians are concerned and it’s hard to walk into any household with Armenian heritage and not see a miniature cross-stone displayed in every room of the house,” said Premier Berejiklian.
Excerpt from The Catholic Weekly, 19 December 2018. 


Address:St Marys Road , West Entrance, St Marys Cathedral, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.870955
Long: 151.213691
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Conflict
Artist:Artak Hambardzumayan


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 18th December, 2018
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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