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The News in Brief

Thursday, August 30
TAV Receives Tbilisi Airport Operation Extension

The Turkish operator of Tbilisi International Airport said it would invest $65 million in reconstruction of a currently unused runaway and in exchange, receive an extension for the airport’s operation until late 2037. TAV Airports Holding, which owns 76% of the shares in Tbilisi's TAV Urban Georgia, agreed with the Georgian state-owned United Airports of Georgia, to reconstruct the unused runaway, one of two runaways at Tbilisi airport.

“The operational rights of TAV Urban Georgia have been extended for 10 years and 9 months from February 2027 to November 8, 2037 within the scope of the agreement of Built-Operate-Transfer in exchange for the reconstruction investment,” TAV Airports Holding said in a statement on August 24. “We plan to get the investment on the reconstruction of the runway started in September 2012 and complete the project in less than 2 years,” the company said.

Tbilisi International Airport has been operated by TAV since October, 2005. In Georgia, the company will also operate the airport in Batumi for a 20-year term starting May, 2007.

UNM signs memorandum on the non-use of administrative resources

United National Movement has signed the memorandum on the non-use of administrative resources for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Current member of the UNM, Akaki Minashvili, signed the memorandum on behalf of the party today. The memorandum forbids the use of administrative resources during the pre-election period. The document was prepared by the Central Election Commission, seven non-governmental organizations and an inter-agency commission. The Central Election Commission calls on all political parties to join the memorandum. Rustavi 2

Rescuers find tourists lost in mountains

Rescuers have found the group of tourists lost in the mountains in Racha. Three men and two girls went camping, traveling from the Utsera resort to the remote part of the Racha region three- days ago. Shortly thereafter, they called the emergency services for help after they realized that they were lost. Rescuers began the search operation Sunday and only yesterday were they able to locate the lost tourists. They will take the tourists back after the weather improves. They say the tourists are safe and healthy. Rustavi 2

Georgian Orthodox Church Marks Anchistakhatoba today

The image of Christ not made by hand is the greatest and most sacred thing for Christianity. The creation of the icon is directly related to Jesus Christ. When Christ lived among people, Abgar, King of Edessa (Ides) became sick. Abgarus sent a letter to Christ writing that if Christ manages to heal him, they would save the refugee Christians from the Hebrews in Edessa. Jesus Christ wrote him back saying that he could not arrive because he had his mission to do. Then the King sent an artist to paint Christ's image. The painter couldn’t paint the saviour’s image. Christ took the cloth from the painter and put it his on his face. Image of Christ appeared on the cloth miraculously. The cloth with Christ's Image was taken to Edessa. Abgar was healed of his six- year illness when he touched the cloth. They say that St. Nino arrived in Ides to venerate the Jesus Christ original icon. Edessa was attacked by Arabs in the VII century. Greeks brought the original icon to St. Sofia Church in Constantinople to save the icon.

The icon was put at Anchiskhati episcopacy in Klarjeti (formerly Georgian territory) when the icons were persecuted in the VIII-IX centuries. All the Georgian Nation was going to Klarjeti to venerate the Jesus Christ original icon. King Tamar ordered famous goldsmith Beka Opizari to make a setting for original icon in 1194. A hard period came in Klarjeti after King Tamar’s death. The icon was taken to Akhaltsikhe and then to Tbilisi and brought to a temple in order to protect the icon from its enemies. Afterwrds, the temple of the 7th century dedicated to the Mother of God and the ever-Virgin Mary was named Anchiskhati Temple.

Icon was taken to National Museum of Georgia during the communist regime. The museum keeps Anchiskhati Icon there till this time. IPN