Demolition of Armenian Church’s bell tower in Tbilisi, Georgia

On the morning of May 14, 2012 the bell tower of the Surb Nshan Armenian Church was demolished. The 1703 church is situated on Vertshkhli Street in Tbilisi, and its walls were painted by eminent Armenian painters Hovnatanyans.

Over a long period of time the Church’s bell tower has been in emergency conditions. A while ago the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia fixed the bell tower with metallic and wooden constructions. Nonetheless, the bell tower has not survived. Presumably, the bell tower was demolished because of the May 8 earthquake and the last days’ unprecedented rains.

Georgian authorities have been informed about the case and on the morning of the same day representatives of the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation visited the site and asked the constructors to modify the Church’s restoration plan. The Armenian Diocese in Georgia is looking forward for getting the final decision on this issue.

The Head of Diocese wrote to the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili and asked him to allocate funds for preservation and protection of Armenian monuments in Georgia, and to make decision concerning return to the Diocese of churches confiscated during the Soviet period. These churches are Norashen (built in 1467), Surb Nshan (built in 1703), Mughnetsots Surb Gevorg (built in 1356), Erevantsots Surb Minas (built in 1790), Shamkhoretsots Surb Astvatsatsin (built in 1775) in Tbilisi, and Surb Nshan (nuilt in 1862) in Akhaltsikhe.

The Holy See of Etchmiadzin and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia have been informed about the situation.

For additional information contact Father Narek Kushyan – 00995571000789 or click on the ‘download this article’ link below.

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