Mural paintings at the Vardzia monastery. Photo: Patriarchate.ge

12 November 2016, 19:54

Patriarchate of Georgia holds authorities responsible for damage to murals of Vardzia Cave Monastery

Damage inflicted to mural paintings and frescoes of the 12th century as a result of the fire at the Vardzia monastery could have been prevented if the fire safety measures were taken in the monastery. This was stated by the Patriarchate of Georgia. Experts believe that the mural paintings can be restored.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that at night of November 2, the Vardzia monastery caught fire, and as a result, the unique mural paintings of the monastery were covered with soot.

The Vardzia complex built on a rock is located in the Aspindza District of the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. The huge rocky cave monastery and the cliffy town were founded in the 12th century by Georgian King George III and completed by his daughter Queen Tamara.

According to the website of the Patriarchate of Georgia, the local authorities could have prevented the damage to the historical monument by installation of fire sensors.

After the fire, the major criticism has fallen on the Patriarchate of Georgia. Well-known art historians and public figures accused church officers of unauthorized use of national monuments as monasteries and failure to comply with safety regulations. Mikhail Giorgadze, Georgian Minister of Culture, promised to tighten the regulations for monks living in the monuments of cultural heritage, the "Georgia-Online" reports.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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