|Khoren Der Harootian
Young Meher by Khoren Der Harootian is a bronze monument next to the Philadelphia Museum of Art that commemorates the tragic events of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman empire during WWI. Meher is a legendary Middle ages folk hero who symbolizes the faith of the Armenian people. He holds a cross as he kneels before the battle. The front panel on the pedestal depicts a soldier in front of a church, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and grapes. He is keeping watch over the spiritual and cultural heritage of Armenia. The panel on to the south depicts St. Vartan at the Battle of Avarayr (451 A.D.), history's first defense of the Christian Faith. The panel to the north depicts a vulture watching over a field of skeletons and a mother and child, survivors of the genocide. The eastern panel depicts a mother and child at Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan. The Armenian community commissioned the monument for the 1976 American Bicentennial and it is the only public monument dedicated to Armenians and the Armenian Genocide in the Philadelphia area. The sculptor, Der Harootian (1909-1991), escaped to the United States with his mother and sisters in 1921 after witnessing the tragic scenes of the Armenian Genocide. His father, a priest, and 22 relatives were massacred by the Turks.