Saving Vardzia: Works On-Going

Within the project “Save Vardzia” strengthening and conservation of the most damaged areas of the complex has started. The diagnostic work of the ancient wall painting has come to its final stage and upon its completion at the end of this year the government will have an analysis of the state of Vardzia’s oldest paintings as well as full documentation to assist in research and accurate methods of conservation.

In order to preserve the cave complex, works are going on simultaneously in several directions: surveying the walls, rock reinforcement and conservation, studying the monument’s archaeology, wall painting diagnosis, and tourism infrastructure amenity analysis.

During the continuing archeological studies, two unprecedented large-size new tiers were discovered and 10 caverns within. In the ancient residential and agricultural facilities there are remains of a bakery, storage areas and pitchers where a dozen centuries ago, wine and grain were stored, glazed and unglazed ceramic utensils - bowls, pots, and iron spearheads dated to the XIII-XIV century by archeologists.

The Vardzia painting study is being carried out with the collaboration of the Tbilisi Academy of Arts and The Courtauld Institute of Art, aiming to enhance and develop Georgian students’ qualifications.

The project “Save Vardzia” launched last year on the initiative of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and will last for four years. The Georgian government allocated 570,000 GEL for the first stage work from the Government Reserve Fund.

Meri Taliashvili

27 August 2015 21:24