Dr. Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh to Present ‘The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript, from Genocide to Justice’

Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh - "The Missing Pages - The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript from Genocide to Justice"

In 2010, the world’s wealthiest art institution, the J. Paul Getty Museum, found itself confronted by a century-old genocide. The Armenian Church was suing for the return of eight pages from the Zeytun Gospels, a manuscript illuminated by the greatest medieval Armenian artist, Toros Roslin. Protected for centuries in a remote church, the holy manuscript had followed the waves of displaced people exterminated during the Armenian genocide. Passed from hand to hand, caught in the confusion and brutality of the First World War, it was cleaved in two. Decades later, the manuscript found its way to the Republic of Armenia, while its missing eight pages came to the Getty.


Dr. Heghnar Watenpaugh (UC Davis) will give a presentation on “The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript, from Genocide to Justice” at 7:30PM on Thursday, April 4, 2019, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191 on the Fresno State campus. Copies of The Missing Pages will be on sale at the lecture.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Fresno State Lots P6 and P5, near the University Business Center, Fresno State. A free parking code can be obtained by contacting the Armenian Studies Program.


The Missing Pages is the biography of a manuscript that is at once art, sacred object, and cultural heritage. Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh follows in the manuscript’s footsteps through seven centuries, from medieval Armenia to the killing fields of 1915 Anatolia, the refugee camps of Aleppo, Ellis Island, and Soviet Armenia, and ultimately to a Los Angeles courtroom.

Reconstructing the path of the pages, Watenpaugh uncovers the rich tapestry of an extraordinary artwork and the people touched by it. At once a story of genocide and survival, of unimaginable loss and resilience, The Missing Pages captures the human costs of war and persuasively makes the case for a human right to art.

Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Davis. She is the award-winning author of The Image of an Ottoman City: Architecture in Aleppo (2004). Her writing has also appeared in the Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, visit our website at www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies or visit our Facebook page at @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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