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Armenian Genocide Museum

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  • Armenian Genocide Museum

    Talk about starting on the wrong foot..

    February 9, 2011 - 21:47 AMT 17:47 GMT

    Armenian Assembly of America issued a statement on The Armenian
    Genocide Museum case.

    "Last month the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC issued an
    order and an accompanying 190-page Memorandum of Opinion regarding
    the Armenian Genocide Museum case. Although the case is not over,
    it is important for all members of the Assembly to understand the
    ramifications of the Opinion. It is also important for all members
    of the Assembly to know that we have worked tirelessly to build
    a museum and permanent memorial to the Armenian Genocide in our
    nation's capital. Nothing in the Opinion will stop us from continuing
    these efforts.

    This litigation began in April 2007, when Mr. Cafesjian and his
    foundation sued the Assembly and the Armenian Genocide Museum &
    Memorial (AGMM). In its Opinion, the Court rejected Mr. Cafesjian's
    claims of wrongdoing against the Assembly and AGMM, and reduced Mr.

    Cafesjian's representation on the Board of Trustees. Going forward,
    the Judge decided that Anoush Mathevosian, Hirair Hovnanian, the
    Armenian Assembly of America, and the Cafesjian Family Foundation will
    each have one vote on the AGMM Board. The Judge also decided that Mr.

    Cafesjian is not entitled to the payment of $500,000 that he claimed
    he was owed from the AGMM.

    However, the Court upheld Mr. Cafesjian's right to insist upon
    the return of the real estate acquired to house the museum complex,
    which was estimated at $40 million at trial. This right arose through
    a reversionary clause Mr. Cafesjian included in the documents that
    transferred these properties to AGMM. The clause stated that if the
    museum was "not developed prior to December 31, 2010 in accordance
    with the Plans" or "in substantial compliance with the Plans," then
    at Mr. Cafesjian's "sole discretion" he could insist on the return
    of his funds or the properties. The Judge concluded that the AGMM
    was not developed prior to December 31, 2010, therefore entitling Mr.

    Cafesjian to enforce his right of reversion. The Court also denied
    the allegations of the Assembly and AGMM against Mr. Cafesjian, and
    ruled that Mr. Cafesjian's indemnification for the legal fees will
    be addressed in further court proceedings.

    The Court is now going to balance Mr. Cafesjian's right to a return of
    the properties against the principle enshrined in our bylaws that no
    trustee can profit from a transaction with the Assembly or AGMM. We
    will also ask the Court to consider the applicable IRS rules and
    regulations governing non-profit entities, and the intention of the
    parties at the time he obtained his right of reversion.

    The Judge will begin considering these issues at a hearing on February
    24. The Judge also encouraged the parties to resolve their differences
    to "accomplish the laudable goal of creating an Armenian genocide
    museum and memorial."

    The Assembly is keenly aware that our members and the community have
    many questions. Our attorneys continue to represent and advise us,
    and while many have expressed their surprise and concern regarding the
    reversionary clause and its validity, it is important to note that Mr.

    Cafesjian should not profit from exercising it.

    While this matter is pending, the Assembly must also address another
    lawsuit brought by Mr. Cafesjian filed in January of this year. In
    addition to suing the Assembly, Mr. Cafesjian is also suing Hirair
    Hovnanian and Van Krikorian personally. That suit seeks the return
    of $1,050,000 in trustee dues by Mr. Cafesjian, which he claims a
    right to receive back due to an alleged lack of participation in the
    governance of the Assembly."
    Hayastan or Bust.

  • #2
    Re: Armenian Genocide Museum

    BTW: what of the progress or lack thereof, of the Los Angeles Musuem of Tollerance. someone called it the Museum of
    Rememberance. Okay. There was protests on the lack of acknowledgement in a fair way of the Armenian Genocide.
    I photographed a large sign down the street stating this.
    Someone that took the tour stated there was a mere passing reference to it. I read somewhere that the State legislature
    passed a ruling that the museum has to recognize it and give a fair space to it. But that the museum has yet to do this.
    What is the latest?