TBILISI (Combined Sources)—The bell-tower of the already-damaged St. Neshan Church collapses after heavy rains and flooding in the Georgian capital.
The collapse of the bell tower also caused damaged to a nearby residential building.
Nodar Chumbadze of Georgia’s Emergency Services Ministry said that all normal procedures were followed after the collapse and no was hurt as a result.
While the main reasons for the collapse is considered to be an earthquake that hit the territory a few days before as well as unprecedented showers during the past few days in the Georgian capital, specialists still consider that had repairs been done in time it would perhaps have been possible to avoid such a situation. The Armenian side has long accused Georgians of neglecting the condition of the church and sought to take possession of it in order to make all necessary restoration works.
On a related note, on Monday the Primate of the Diocese of Georgia, Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan wrote a letter to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili asking him to take necessary steps to preserve Armenian cultural monuments and to return five churches to the diocese in Tbilisi.
Aside from St. Neshan, the St. Norashen, Mughni Church of St. George, St. Minas, St. Astvatsatsin and the St. Nshan church in Samtskhe Javakhketi are among the five churches being mentioned in the letter.
The collapsed church was damaged in a fire that broke out in January. A column that supported the already damaged dome collapsed during the blaze.