Medieval Armenian Church in Georgia Collapses

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TBILISI (Combined Sources)—A major section of a 14th century Armenian church in Tbilisi collapsed Wednesday evening, after years of neglect by the authorities to repair the historic structure, reported the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church on Thursday.

The St. Gevorg of Mughni Church, built in 1356, had been entirely rebuilt in 1756. It is made of brick and its architectural typology is that of a cross within a rectangular perimeter, with four free-standing supports. The church had been closed for years, owing to the structures deteriorating condition. Locals say the recent rains further exacerbated the damage to the church.

450px-Saint_Gevorg_of_Mughni_Church,_TbilisiThe medieval church had been operating as a museum of folk art until the mid-1980s. By 1990 it was no longer a museum and its interior lay in ruin. The vestibule attached to the western facade of the church was destroyed in May, 1991.

“The Georgian Ministry of Culture, Monuments Protection and Sports should bear the responsibility,” the Diocese said in a statement Thursday. “All this creates an impression that by failing to solve the issue of returning the churches to the Armenian Diocese, the Georgian Patriarchate and authorities do not pay proper attention to the preservation of Armenian churches, and intentionally destroy important monuments of Armenian culture.”

Georgian authorities had pointed to large cracks in the church’s walls as an excuse to demolish the church instead of repair it. The district governor in Tbilisi Thursday promised to allocate funds for reconstruction of the church.

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2 Comments

  1. Aram said:

    Georgians or Turks, these are two similar nations regarding their treatment to armenians are  the only difference they are apparently christians which make the feeling worse.  After all Staline the bloodiest dictator of modern history was a Georgian…..He gave Nakhichevan and Artsakh to Azerbaidjan and Javakh to Georgia. So our fight needs to be on many sides, no time to sleep for armenians.

  2. manooshag said:

    Hye, Georgia, a neighbor to Armenia,  fails to maintain an ancient edifice, in this case the Armenian chuch of  St. Gevorg of Mughni, built in 1356.  Hence this is indicative of that nations’ failure to recognize, sadly, their own nation’s history over centuries.  Manooshag

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