Father Gomidas Vartabed Statue

In the median of West Jefferson near the Jefferson-Woodward intersection,
just to the southwest of the Joe Louis Fist

This black granite statue with the name Gomidas engraved in gold is one of Detroit's most moving and thought-provoking. During World War I and in the years immediately following, approximately 1.5 million Armenians died in Turkey—one of several massive killings of ethnic minorities in the 20th century. Many Armenian scholars and historians attribute the massacre to Turks, while some Turkish scholars and historians dispute that attribution.

Father Gomidas was a composer who was imprisoned with many other Armenians in 1915. Diplomatic efforts eventually secured his released. He was taken to Paris where he died in exile.

Detroit's large and prosperous Armenian community erected this statue in 1981 to commemorate their dead co-ethnics and remind us of the tragedy of ethnic slaughters. The statue clearly emphasizes the pain that Father Gomidas and Armenians felt in the World War I era. His right arm bent across his body may symbolize the grief that he felt and contained within himself. Note the effective use of black granite and bronze.

Date of completion: 1981
Sculptor: Arto Tchakmakchian
Material: Granite and Bronze

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