Against the background of the hysteria artificially inflated by the Armenian and pro-Armenian media around the David Gareji monastery, the safety of which does not threaten anything, the brazen destruction of the Georgian shrines by the Armenian nationalists is underway.
At the same time, when the attention of the Georgian public was riveted to David Gareji, Armenian nationalists deliberately destroyed the unique ancient Georgian church in the village of Korkhi of Akhalkalaki municipality.
The fact of the destruction of the Church of St. Stephen in the village of Korkhi of the Akhalkalaki municipality was recorded by the National Agency for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Georgia. The Agency qualified the “work” in the church as vandalism, which was written about on its official Facebook page.
“As a result of the unauthorized decision of the villagers and the initiator of the construction work, Yurik Tsarukyan,” the report says, “the appearance of the 19th century church changed dramatically. The walls of the monument of cultural heritage were collapsed by force, one of the facades of the temple is almost completely destroyed. "
Employees of the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage on May 10 learned about the work without a permit. On the basis of Article 30 of the Law of Georgia "About Cultural Heritage", the Agency sent a written warning to citizen Yurik Tsarukyan with a request to correct what he had done and to perform the following actions in accordance with the current legislation:
• He was supposed to provide immediate suspension of all types of work on the monument (except for foundation works);
• Under the supervision of specialists, the foundation of the church (at the excavated site) should be reinforced with reinforced concrete. The process was supposed to be filmed for the report.
• Within one month he had to obtain permission from the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (except of foundation works) for the remaining works.
The agency writes that Yurik Tsarukyan neglected all these points in obtaining a building permit.
As a result, on May 21, the Agency, in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 88 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, drew up a report and fined Yurik Tsarukyan for 5,000 lari.
But despite this, the destruction of the Georgian temple continued. The agency writes that according to their unofficial information, despite warnings and fines, work without permission to the church continues. Although it entails criminal liability. But this did not stop the Armenian vandals. Agency control officers will investigate the possibility of a continuation of the offense.
Recall, the church in the village of Korkhi, Armenian nationalists from the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC) in Georgia, included in the list of 442 Georgian churches for which they officially claim, claiming that they are “Armenian.”
Among the churches of Akhakalak municipality, this church is number 33. “Korkhi,“ Surb Stepanos ”, (“ Surb Grigor Lusavorich ”) 1830s, restored in 1884, 1890, stands” - this information is given in the official Armenian claim.
This information is all a lie. The church in Korhi is a Georgian church built in the Middle Ages, when there were no Armenians in Samtskhe-Javkheti.
In 1830, Armenian settlers captured the church. In 1884 and in 1890, the Armenians carried out a “repair” in the seized Georgian church, when evidence of its Georgian origin was deliberately destroyed, and stones with Armenian inscriptions were “inserted” instead.
Nevertheless, when the experts of the National Agency for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Georgia began to investigate the church, they immediately determined that the church in the village of Korkhi is Georgian. The Armenians simply converted it into “Armenian” and for the “proof”; they specially inserted stones with Armenian inscriptions. Armenians did this during the period of mass “appropriation” of Georgian churches at the end of the 19th century.
But the foundation and walls of the church remained Georgian, and any specialist could confirm this. Moreover, parts of the temple complex barbarously destroyed during the "repair" in 1890, in particular the gravestones, were used for its "conversion" into the "Armenian".
In order to prevent further barbaric destruction of the church, the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites of Georgia granted the church of St. Stephen, located in the village of Korkhi of the Akhalkalaki municipality, the status of a monument of cultural heritage. The status was assigned according to the order of the Director of the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Objects Nikoloz Antidze on June 30, 2017.
“St. Stephen’s Church is located in the northeastern part of the village. Built at the end of the nineteenth century of tufa. Entrance from the east.
Previously, the bell tower was located in the eastern edge. The facade of the church is decorated with framed doors, and the facade from the east with plasters, combined eaves and large relief crosses. As for the interior, embossed images of angels are embedded in the altar plastars. The same images and relief crosses are decorated niche and baptismal. The stones of the graves with relief images of the late Middle Ages were built near the east wall plaster. In the southwestern corner of the church highlighted Armenian construction inscription with the date. Two more inscriptions were made together with images of the cross near the baptismal. In the construction of the northeast corner of the church used the stele of the early Middle Ages,”- such information about the church is contained on the website of the Agency of Cultural Heritage of Georgia.
At the same time, the Armenian “construction inscription” specifically dates back to 1890, when the Armenians tried to prove that they built the church from scratch, and did not capture the old Georgian church.
But the specialists of the Cultural Heritage Agency of Georgia failed to deceive. Experts immediately noted that the foundation of the church is a medieval foundation and in its “construction” elements of the ancient Georgian church, which had previously stood in this place, were deliberately destroyed by Armenians, before Armenian settlers appropriated it.
Realizing that it was impossible to prove the “Armenian origin” of the Georgian church in the village of Korkhi, the Armenian vandals decided to simply destroy the church. Up to the foundation - under the guise of "restoration", to finally erase all traces of its Georgian origin.
It is not too late for the Georgian authorities to immediately take under strict protection all Georgian shrines that are located in Armenian settlements on the territory of Georgia. Otherwise, the priceless monuments of the Georgian culture, the shrines of the Georgian people will be barbarously destroyed - as it became with the church in the village of Korkhi. And first of all, under the threat of complete annihilation, those Georgian churches will be born, to which the Armenians have put forward their claims.
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