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City native donates statue of ancient Assyrian ruler

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City native donates statue of ancient Assyrian ruler

Jan-14-2013 at 09:56 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

A model of a proposed bronze statue of Assyrian Queen Shamiram shows the ancient ruler as a symbol of female empowerment, diversity, history, and art.
(Photo: Erik Schulze)
City native donates statue of ancient Assyrian ruler
by Brooke Borba. Turlock Journal, Staff Reporter, January 11, 2013.

Queen Shamiram, the first woman to rule an empire without a man, may soon find a home in Turlock after the Turlock City Arts Commission voted to recommend the city accept a donated bronze statue of the ancient Assyrian ruler.

Turlock native Narsai David presented a Model on Thursday of the proposed 9-foot bronze statue he wishes to donate to the city during one of the most well-attended Arts Commission meetings in the history of the group.

David, now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, has hosted a national PBS television series, wrote columns for the San Francisco Food Chronicle, and co-hosted a series of cooking demonstrations and radio broadcasts.

His success has further pushed his desire to give back to the community, and he continues to be actively involved in various projects, including serving as president of the Board of the Assyrian Aid Society of America; chairman of the Board of the Berkeley Fund; and host of the annual Narsai’s Taste of the Mediterranean benefiting the Assyrian Aid Society of America.

David believes Turlock to be a part of his identity, and the identity of many Assyrians that emigrate from Chicago.

All Assyrians came to Chicago, where the first jobs were. Once they had enough money, they wanted to find land that reminds them of home. The first Assyrian went to Turlock and bought requisite of land and began an Assyrian migration in Turlock,” David said. “There are a lot of Assyrians here. I graduated from Turlock Joint Union High School and have a warm spot in my heart for Turlock.”

David choose Queen Shamiram as a model due to her strong connotation to women’s power. He wanted to bring the community together to recognize great art, history, and modifications to social norms associated with women and their shifting roles in traditional communities.

The 9-foot bronze statue will feature Queen Shamiram as a powerful woman, clad in a Roman-looking gown featuring bangles, golden arm bands, and a lioness at her feet. The base will be made of granite, and will depict her importance on a plaque in Assyrian and English. A Model sculpture was on display in the Arts Commission meeting room during the presentation.

David believed that because the statue is an Assyrian representation, the donation might be considered imposing on others views and wanted to relay his concern that though the statue is a symbol of Assyrian culture, it also incorporates a stunning piece of art that symbolizes women’s power, diversity, and history.

Concerned Turlock residents filled the board room at City Hall on Thursday, eager to voice their opinions on the statue’s placement, and their overall feelings associated with the statue. The meeting was among the largest in the history of the Arts Commission.

“This statue is a symbol of art and symbol of women in power. She was the first female that ruled the empire without being ruled by a king. Regardless of race, it is something that everyone can appreciate.”

— Amil Adishol
Turlock Resident

This statue is a symbol of art and symbol of women in power. She was the first female that ruled the empire without being ruled by a king. Regardless of race, it is something that everyone can appreciate,” said Turlock Resident Amil Adishol.

President of the Assyrian American Civic Club of Turlock, Raymond George, thanked the commission for looking into the matter, and was pleased that David has continued to regard Turlock as his home.

Aside from being Assyrian, we have a civilization of 5,000 years. The Queen is known for her beauty and pride. It is fitting to see that beauty and pride in Turlock,” George said.

A variety of citizens suggested placing the statue at California State University, Stanislaus, where a mature populace can learn and appreciate Queen Shamiram’s presence. Years ago, David suggested placing the statue on campus, but found the university administration to be reluctant. He said he hopes that the new president will not be so fickle, and will take the donation seriously.

Though the Arts Commission cannot require the university to accept the statue, the commissioners agreed that the public should have a say in its location.

These are not empty comments. I notice that there is a change of attitude and receptivity to public doings such as this. It wouldn’t hurt to pursue the university again,” said Arts Commissioner Llewellyn Boyle.

The Arts Commission was in unanimous agreement to recommend that the City Council accept the statue.


City native donates statue of ancient Assyrian ruler
http://www.atour.com/finearts/docs/20130114a.html

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1. Queen Shamiram still needs a home

Mar-18-2013 at 05:34 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #0
 
Last edited on 03/18/2013 at 05:36 PM (UTC3 Assyria)
 
Queen Shamiram still needs a home
University refuses donated statue
by Brooke Borba (bborba ( a t ) turlockjournal.com). Staff Reporter, Turlock Journal. February 15, 2013 9:57 p.m.

Queen Shamiram was chosen as a model for Turlock due to her strong historical background in the women’s movement and succession of power. The statue is intended to recognize great art, history, and women’s influence.
Queen Shamiram has been looking for a permanent Turlock home since 2007. Community members had hoped a donated 9-foot bronze statue of the ancient Assyrian ruler would be placed at California State University, Stanislaus, but the university said thanks, but no thanks.

“The discussion regarding the statue highlighted the need for a university policy and plan concerning artwork placement on campus. CSU Stanislaus will begin work on a policy this year, soliciting input from the community in its development,” said CSU Stanislaus Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Dave Tonelli said.

“We recognize the strong history of the Assyrian community in Turlock, and very much appreciate the offer of a 9-foot bronze statue of Assyrian Queen Shamiram.”

The news of the university's refusal to site the statue was not welcomed by some.

“It is a very expensive statue. It is a beautiful gift for our city,” said Turlock native Janet Jacob. “The university belongs to the people and we want students to know about the statue. We don’t want the statue to go to some place that no one will know about and no one will see.”

Turlock native Narsai David is donating the bronze statue of the first woman to rule an empire. David presented a model of the statue during one of the most well-attended Arts Commission meetings in the history of Turlock in January.

Queen Shamiram was chosen as a model for Turlock due to her strong historical background in the women’s movement and succession of power. The statue is intended to recognize great art, history, and women’s influence.

“The Queen is a model for women and young ladies because of her strength and power. She conquered the world; India and Armenia. This is a commitment to a queen in forgotten history, a history that women can relive again one more time,” Reverend Dr. George G. Shahbaz said.

Before Queen Shamiram can empower this generation of Turlock women, a site needs to be found. On Wednesday, the Turlock Parks and Recreation Commission chose two representatives to join a group from the Arts Commission to find possible locations for the statue.

Parks Commissioners Bella Daniel and Andrew Davoodian volunteered their help, and were charged with the duty of finding a suitable setting.

“I’m confident that Bella and Andrew will find a good location for the statue,” Parks Commission Chair Barney Gordon said.

Many in attendance at the Parks Commission meeting seemed disgruntled by the long process of finding a site for the statue that began in 2007, to which Gordon replied, “Democracy has never been accused of going fast.”

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2. Assyrian statue closer to finding new home

Mar-18-2013 at 05:41 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Assyrian statue closer to finding new home
by Brooke Borba (bborba ( a t ) turlockjournal.com).
Staff Reporter, Turlock Journal, March 15, 2013 8:33 p.m.

Parks Commission Chair Barney Gordon said he was happy to see that the subcommittee is working diligently to relay information and secure a location, but wanted to make sure all possible options were considered.
The search to find a permanent home for a 9-foot bronze statue of an ancient Assyrian ruler may soon come to an end thanks to the efforts of the Queen Shamiram Statue Location Subcommittee, compromised of two members from the Turlock Parks and Recreation Commission and three members of the Arts Commission.

The subcommittee banded together last month after California State University, Stanislaus refused to host the statue on its premises. Though the university appreciated the offer and recognition, it was unable to accept the statue due to a discussion regarding university policies and plans of art placement on campus, said CSU Stanislaus Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Dave Tonelli.

“Both committees unanimously agree that CSU, Stanislaus continues to be the most highly recommended option,” said Commissioner Andrew Davoodian at Wednesday’s Parks and Recreation meeting. “We are trying to meet with the president at CSU Stanislaus, but we have set up a number of options.”

Seven options were presented to the commission, each of which hosted a number of concerns about walk-by traffic, graffiti, and maintaining the integrity of the statue. Possible locations included: Senior Citizen’s Center, Donnelly Park, Transit Center, the corner of Colorado and Canal, Gettysburg Park, Broadway and Olive (just in front of the new Public Safety Center), and Centennial Park.

Statue donor Narsai David is skeptical of some of the locations, and said he is interested in being part of the selection committee after returning from San Francisco. The subcommittee and Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erik Schulze mentioned that once the choices are limited to three or four options, they will contact David.

Though proposals were made to place the statue near the Assyrian- Christian church, Davoodian, a lecturer at UC Berkeley on Modern Assyrian Culture, suggests there may be cultural implications associated with the statue since Queen Shamiram represents a pre-Christian figure.

“This is not the final list,” Davoodian said. “This is a first draft. Our proposal is based on about 95 percent of the comments we made. We just want to make the right decision. We believe it is important for the community to be involved.”

Turlock native and member of the Assyrian Civic Club Yooash Stepans extended his thanks to Commissioners Bella Daniel and Davoodian for their efforts in finding the statue a home, and even offered a location up for consideration.

“Since we have a large number of Assyrians living in Turlock, this is good timing for a piece of Assyrian history to be in Turlock. This statue should be in a place that is more visible to a large form of people so that they can appreciate it. A lot of work has been done, and we want people to see it,” said Stepans. “I think maybe we should put it next to the sign off Fulkerth and Golden State.”

Parks Commission Chair Barney Gordon said he was happy to see that the subcommittee is working diligently to relay information and secure a location, but wanted to make sure all possible options were considered.

“I know that the community is anxious to get it out there, but we don’t want to make a rash decision. If we can identify next month a place to hold a public hearing, that would be great,” Gordon said.

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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