Heavy Rain Damages Gelati Frescoes

Due to heavy rain that lasted several days, a number of the well-known historic frescoes at Georgia’s 12th Century Gelati Monastery were damaged when water leaked through the roof of the monastery.

Restorers called to analyse the scene say that while it seems the frescoes haven’t been destroyed, it is possible that they will lose their original appearance.

The Gelati Monastery is a medieval monastic complex near Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of western Georgia. Founded by King David IV 'The Builder' in 1106 in the period known as the Georgian Golden Age, Gelati is one of the most important cultural landmarks in Georgia and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger.

UNESCO describes  the monastery as "a well-preserved complex, with wonderful mosaics and wall paintings, representing the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia.”

Since 2013, the United States Embassy to Georgia has been funding the  architectural rehabilitation of the Church. The money was meant to conserve the church's mosaics. The project involved several phases and full rehabilitation was expected to end in 2017.

By Natia Liparteliani

15 December 2016 12:48