June 5, 2017 – Lecture and presentation about St. Vlas from Sevastya. Croation and Armenian relations
9:04, 05-06-2017

The prominent Croatian scientist Dr. Vinicije Lupis delivered a presentation in the Armenian Cultural Center in Sofia. Dr. Lupis is the head of the regional center of "Ivo Palar“ Institute of Social Sciences in Dubrovnik and has a degree in church-silver and relics of Dubrovnik. He is the first in Croatia to write articles for the Armeniana and Armenian genocide since 2007. He participated as a co-author in the writing of two books on the Armenians.

The main topics in the presentation were the Armenian genocide, the historical links between Armenians and Croats, dating centuries back, and the life of St. Blase of Sebastia (today's Sivas in Turkey).

Dr. Loupis impressed the audience with his in-depth research into the history of one of the cradles of the Armenian culture - Sebastia.
With numerous documentary photographs, he presented the destructive acts of Turkey aimed at destroying Armenian cultural heritage in the city. Comparing preserved photos shot before the time of genocide and pictures in the same places today, he showed how historic to Armenians churches and palaces were destroyed and replaced by modern shopping centers or converted into Islamic temples and medresses.
Particularly interesting for the audience was the study of Dr. Lupis about the life and activity of St. Blase. A little known fact for us is that the saint revered also in Bulgaria is an Armenian from Sebastia (Sivas) who was nominated as patron of Dubrovnik, just as St. Mark is a patron of Venice. Dr. Lupis presented numerous photographs of artefacts from today's Sivas, excerpts from ancient texts and paintings by renowned Renaissance artists, telling the life of Saint Blase and his contribution to the development of Christianity in ancient times in Asia Minor.
At the end of the event, the audience had the opportunity to ask their questions to Dr. Lupis. It was interesting to learn that there are still several renowned Armenian families living in Dubrovnik today, who enjoy great respect from the local community and make a significant contribution to the cultural and scientific life of the city.

In acknowledgement of the scientific and enlightenment work of Dr. Lupis, on behalf of Parekordzagan / AGBU-Sofia, the Chairperson of the organization, Arno Kuiumdjian presented him with souvenirs from Bulgaria, to remind him of the respect of the Armenian community in our country.

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