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Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian
Old 12.07.2004, 00:57   #1
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Smile Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian


I don't know if I'm posting in the right or wrong forum, but if this isn't the right one, let's hope that Acid corrects me...

On 29.03.1869, in Scutari, Istanbul, was born Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, son of Sarkis and Dirouhie Gulbenkian, members of an illustrious armenian family their origins ascending to the 4th century.

His ancestors the Princes of Rechduni, owned feuds south of Lake Van in Armenia. On the 11th century, under King Senekerim of Vaspurakan, the Rechduni established themselves in Casareia, Capadocia, one of the oldest cradles of the eastern christianism. Here they adopted the patronymic Vart Badrik, a noble byzantine title. During the 17th century when the ottomans took the power Vart Badrik was replaced by the turkish shape Gulbenkian.

He studied in Kadikoy (Calcedonia), first in Aramyan-Uncuyan School, then in St Joseph french school. Went to Marseille in order to improve his knowledge of the french language. In the King's College, London, he got the highest degree in engineering (1887).

At the age of 22 Calouste Gulbekian travelled through Transcaucasia and visited the petrol fields in Baku, and he wrote a book about, titled "La Transcaucasie et la Péninsule d'Apchéron - Souvenirs de Voyage". This attracted the attention of the turkish minister of the mines, who asked the young Gulbenkian to make a report about the petrol resources of the ottoman empire, mainly in Mesopotamia.

Gulbenkian participated in the birth of Royal Dutch Shell Group, that put together the american and russian petrol industries and gave the first push to this industry in the Persian Gulf.

In 1898, due to his knowledge and influence within the petrol and finance areas, he is appointed financial advisor of the turkish embassies in Paris and London.

In 1902 he gets a second nationality becoming a british citizen too.

In April 1942 Calouste Gulbenkian visited Portugal for the first time, upon invitation of the portuguese ambassador in Paris. He made a tour of the country and decided to stay there for the remaining of his lifetime. He went to Portugal looking for peace - a peace he couldn't find in the rest of Europe. So he lived in Lisbon during 13 years up to 20.07.55, date of his death.

He established his will in 18.06.1953 and as part of it created the Gulbenkian
Foundation with head office in Portugal, with activities focused in the fields of education, science, beneficence and arts. Within these fields a special attention is paid to the armenian communities around the world, according to his express wish.
This is a summary of Mr Gulbenkian's life put into english by myself. There are some aspects of his life that touch me deeply. At different moments of his life he managed putting together (for business) russians and americans (in Shell), british and turkish (BP). In the last part, when establishing his Foundation in Portugal and pointing out as one particular target the support of the armenian communities, somehow he managed putting together armenians and portuguese, and now for something much more important than business.

So being portuguese myself I thought you would like to know about this. If you didn't yet of course...

If someone wants to learn more about the armenian side of the foundation you may go to:

http://www.gulbenkian.org/com_armeni...rmenias_en.asp (english)
http://www.gulbenkian.org/com_armeni...rmenias_fr.asp (french)
http://www.gulbenkian.org/fundacao/fundacao.asp (portuguese)

If you want to complain because they they haven't a page in armenian language (I would if I were armenian) send a message to [email protected]

General information can be found also in their branches in Paris and London at the following addresses:

Centro Cultural Calouste Gulbenkian
51, avenue d'Iéna
75116 Paris
Telf: 0033 1 5323 9393
Fax: 0033 1 5323 9399
e-mail: [email protected]

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
98, Portland Place
London W1B 1ET
Telf: 0044 20 7636 5313
Fax: 0044 20 7637 3421
e-mail: [email protected]

Well I think this is all for today!

Lav egheq!
Red Stone
J'ai besoin de toi,
De tes mains sur moi,
De ton corps doux et chaud,
J'ai envie d'être aimé Domino

From a beautiful love song of the 50s called Domino, music by Louis Ferrari, lyrics by Jacques Plante

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