Translated from the archives of kavkazplus
After the Archdiocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC) in Georgia put forward official claims to 442 Georgian churches, these unsuccessful claims to Georgian shrines aroused the fair indignation of Georgian society. As a result, the AAC became silent for a while and did not remind of its claims. Moreover, the Georgian authorities in order to “cajole” the Armenian side made unprecedented concessions to it.
The informal leader of the ruling coalition “Georgian Dream” Bidzina Ivanishvili even donated personal money (and a lot of it!) for the reconstruction of the Armenian Cathedral “Surb Gevork” in Tbilisi. And after that, declaring that the Georgians “destroy the Armenian cultural heritage” would be a limit to impudence — but that’s what the Armenian side does today.
To tell the truth, as it is known from the history, the Armenians does not make claims in order to refuse them then. The same applies to the Georgian churches, which the AAC has declared as its "own property". Realizing that “through the church line” it would be impossible to immediately achieve one’s own, in Yerevan and Echmiadzin they decided to go from another front - “historically-cultural” and to make claims to the Georgian churches as “Armenian cultural heritage”. For this purpose, well-known Armenian "scientists" and "researchers" are used, who really are masters of historical falsification.
At the press-conference on 16th of December, 2015, as if confirming the claims of the Armenian Apostolic Church to Georgian churches, the Armenian monuments' specialist Samvel Karapetyan officially accused Georgia of “conducting a state policy of destroying the Armenian cultural heritage.”
According to Samvel Karapetyan, the frescoes of Armenian churches in Tbilisi are being destroyed in Georgia. “As a result of this, we have lost a significant part of our cultural heritage. And I decided to publish a book containing eyewitness testimonies so that the Georgian side understood that its crimes did not go unnoticed” Karapetyan stressed. Against this state policy, he continued, a reciprocal government policy is needed, which is currently “not being pursued by Armenia.”
Although, apparently, to pursue of claims to Georgia “at the state level" is a matter of the near future. It is noteworthy that, in a letter from Samvel Karapetyan about the allegedly “destroyed” in Georgia “Armenian monuments” in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, they said that “they attach great importance to his work”. Thus, Georgia should expect claims on its churches at the level of the Foreign Ministry of Armenia or other Armenian state structures.
All aforesaid indicates that it is too early for the Georgian state and the Georgian Orthodox Church and the Georgian public to calm down. Georgian shrines are still under threat of capture and appropriation by Armenians. Moreover, it should be expected that now the claims on the Georgian churches will most likely be put forward by the Armenian state with its diplomatic, propaganda and military machine.
And these are very powerful claims, if we consider that Armenia still occupies 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan, expelling over 1 million indigenous people, arrogating to itself all the ancient Albanian churches and all the monuments of Christian Albanian culture, and also destroying and desecrating in the occupied territories Muslim shrines.