When Maggie Magnassarian-Goschin stepped into the home of 97 years old Elibet Kunzler, she saw a striking item. In the middle of the living room lied a fascinating hand-tied carpet decorated with images of exotic plants, deer, and leopards.
Maggie Magnassarian-Goschin, the director of the California Ararat-Eskijian museum specializing in Armenian antiquities, realized at once that she had found an item of special importance. “I had a feeling that there was something with this rug because I had never seen anything like this in my entire life,” said Mangassarian-Goschin in an interview to BBC.
It turned out that the carpet has been sewn by Armenian orphans in Syria who had previously escaped the Armenian Genocide. This particular carpet is merely a single exemplar of 3000 others made by the Armenian children as a sign of gratitude to their American benefactors.
Over 70 years, the amazing carpet from the Kunzler house has traveled around various states until it was eventually brought to the US and found shelter in the home of the Kunzler spouses in San Diego.
Today, this carpet serves as a reminder of the aid of the US to the Armenian children in remote 1915, as well as of the touching gratitude of the children to their saviors. In Lebanon, parents of Kunzler have taken care of over 8,000 Armenian orphans, from whom they received this carpet as a gift. Elibet, who was a kid in those days, chose the blue color of the carpet herself. Elibet’s parents sent the carpet to the US only after WWII.
The Kunzler carpet is a smaller copy of another renowned carpet presented to the 30th President of the United States Calvin Coolidge in gratitude for the aid to the Armenians of the Near East. Because the carpet of Coolidge is presently stored in the White House and isn’t open to the public, Elibet agreed to temporarily provide the Ararat-Eskijian museum with her carpet in May 2015. Polly Marshal, the youngest daughter of Elibet, is to inherit the rug.