Figaro: Recognition of Genocide by European Parliament Is the Biggest Victory of Lyon's New Mayor
This week an unprecedented event happened for the French Armenian community: on July 17, Georges Kepenekian was elected a mayor of the third largest city of France. Kepenekian replaced Gerard Colon, who is now the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Government led by Emanuel Macron.
Kepenekian was born on August 9, 1949, he is a son of Armenian refugees. Kepenekian is a surgeon-urologist and has served as the Director of Strategic Development at the Saint-Joseph Saint-Luc Hospital Center of Lyon since 2005. He has served as First Deputy Mayor of Lyon since 2014, and adviser for culture, major events, and citizens’ rights since 2008.
Kepenekian is an active member of the French-Armenian community and serves as a board member of the Bullukian Foundation in Lyon. The French media point out that Kepenekian is strongly linked to Armenian culture and memory.
"Georges Kepenekian, Armenian by origin, who began speaking French at the age of five, celebrated his biggest victory on June 18, 1987, when the European Parliament recognized the Armenian Genocide," - wrote "La Figaro", adding that at that time, Kepenekian was the responsible for the Armenian Cause Defense Committee.
It should be noted that that the newly elected mayor did not remain indifferent to the problems of Armenia: after the 1988 earthquake, Kepenekian was among the first group of rescuers, who arrived to Armenia. In the 1990s, Kepenekian did surgeries in Artsakh under shelling.
Kepenekian also played an active role in activating Lyon's ties with the sister city of Yerevan. It is expected that these relations will be further developed by Kepenekian
Georges Kepenekian will act as a mayor of Lyon till 2020.
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