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L.A. To Unveil Its First Permanent Armenian Genocide Memorial In Grand Park

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The city of Los Angeles will unveil its very first permanent monument memorializing the Armenian genocide in Grand Park on Saturday. According to City News Service, the memorial is sculpted out of black volcanic tuff rock imported the Ararat Valley of Armenia.

"The monument has meaning at every level of its conceptualization and construction," said the icon's sculptor, Vahagn Thomasian, to the Daily News.

The monument is intended as a permanent establishment of the iwitness1915 public art installation that bedecked Grand Park, last year, with 24 large photographs memorializing those who were killed and displaced during the genocide. Thomasian was likewise the artist who produced the iwitness installation. As for the new monument itself, the sculpture is split in two, symbolizing the fragmenting power the genocide had upon its victims.

At 5 p.m. on Saturday, a memorial ceremony will take place in Grand Park dedicating the sculpture. L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich will be present, as will the monument's sculptor Thomasian. Aside from the ceremony, the event will include several speakers and musical performances.

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The Armenian genocide is widely considered to be the first major genocide of the 21st century. Beginning in 1915, roughly 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were executed by the Ottoman Empire.