Georgia highlights risk to cultural heritage

Georgia highlights risk to cultural heritage

White church with two bell towers
The church of St. George in the village of Chuburkhinji has been completely renovated, and painted white, according to Russian media sources, the restoration of the church was made possible through private donations. © BS Georgia

The Georgian National Committee of the Blue Shield are drawing attention to the damage and risks to cultural heritage in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region.

Following the publication of a major report in partnership with Newcastle University, England, last year detailing damage in the occupied Tskhinvali region, Blue Shield Georgia have been raising awareness of the findings.

Building on the detailed work in Tskhinvali region, they have released preliminary observations on the state of cultural heritage in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia. Like the situation in Tskhinvali region, the preliminary findings chronicle neglect, demolition, inappropriate restoration and looting.

To call attention to the situation, the National Committee have released a public statement, calling the situation “alarming”. They call on state agencies of Georgia and international organisations to carry out detailed monitoring of the condition of cultural heritage monuments and museums; to better implement international law, particularly the 1954 Hague Convention, its Regulations for execution and 
both Protocols; and to take the necessary measures to prevent further trafficking of cultural artifacts.

"Monitoring of the open sources confirms that the damage to immovable cultural heritage monuments, caused by unauthorized repair and restoration works resulting in the alteration of historic fabric of sites, lack of maintenance and neglect, and construction of military facilities near the sites, continues to be evident in both regions. There are also cases of intentional damage."


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