Gaël Perdriau, Mayor of Saint-Étienne, led a delegation visiting the Armenian Genocide Memorial complex, accompanied by the Deputy Mayor of Kapan, Gor Tadevosyan, on November 20. The delegation included François Rochebloin, former French National Assembly deputy, who was the rapporteur of the Armenian Genocide recognition law adopted by France in January 2001 and the author of the resolution criminalising the denial of the Armenian Genocide in France; Vrezh Khosrovyan, president of the Saint-Étienne Armenian Association; Jean Kotchian, advisor to the Mayor of Saint-Étienne and descendant of a Armenian Genocide survivor and others.
Edita Gzoyan, acting director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, welcomed the guests. She then accompanied them to the Genocide Memorial complex, presenting the history of its creation. She then narrated the history of the three khachkars placed in Tsitsernakaberd in memory of the Armenians who died in the massacres organized by the government of Azerbaijan in the cities of Sumgait, Kirovabad (Gandzak), and Baku at the end of the 20th century, as well as the stories of the five freedom fighters buried in front of the Memory Wall who died during the Artsakh struggle for survival. She emphasised the connection between the Armenian Genocide and contemporary acts of persecution and violence against Armenians and also referred to the historical and legal aspects of the Artsakh issue, describing Azerbaijan's anti-Armenian actions and propaganda.
Mayor Gaël Perdriau placed a wreath at the memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, after which the accompanying guests laid flowers at the Eternal Fire and observed a minute’s silence in memory of the innocent martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. Mrs. Gzoyan accompanied the guests to the Memory Wall, which contains, in special niches on its reverse side, small containers of soil taken from the graves of several 19th and 20th-century foreign public figures, politicians, intellectuals and missionaries who raised voices of protest against the massacres and deportations of Armenians carried out by the Turkish government. The guests were very interested, particularly in Anatole France’s pro-Armenian activities.
Jean Kotchian, a member of delegation and advisor to the Mayor of Saint-Étienne, who is a descendant of a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, read his writing about the Armenian Genocide.
François Rochebloin, the rapporteur of the Recognition Law, gave a short speech at the monument placed by France in the Armenian Genocide Memorial complex on January 29, 2001, dedicated to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, presenting the process of adopting the law.
The guests walked around Memory Park at the end of their visit, where the fir tree, planted by François Rochebloin, a good friend of the Armenian people, may also be seen.