After various speculations and controversies, one of the most significant samples of Georgian culture and architecture– the reconstructed Bagrati Cathedral, was consecrated on September 16. The opening ceremony was attended by the Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II, government officials and opposition representatives.
Newly- reconstructed Bagrati cathedral opened
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, September 17
The ceremony was preceded with the Patriarch’s appeal to the majority and opposition representatives to present the opening of the newly refurbished cathedral together. The Catholics Patriarch stated that the reconstructed cathedral is a symbol of a united Georgia.
“We are thankful to God that he made such a miracle,” Ilia II declared and thanked all those who participated in the reconstruction process. The Patriarch also expressed his gladness of having the current government and opposition together in the cathedral and invited them to the opening of Poti cathedral on September 23.
The president also called the cathedral a symbol of Georgian unity and appealed to all political forces to set the state interest above all personal interests.
“We might have different views concerning politics or economics but I hope that we do not have different views regarding our country. We should not place private ambitious above the state’s interests. If political parties stand together as we are now at Bagrati Cathedral, we will have a powerful and united Georgia,” Saakashvili stated, and emphasized the patriarch’s positive role in Georgia’s contemporary history.
The main opposition opponent of the current Georgian leadership, Bidzina Ivanishvili did not attend the event. The opposition leader cited several reasons for his absence.
“Today we have a live conference with Georgian population and the conference was arranged long before the announcement of Bagrati Cathedral’s opening date. Secondly, Saakashvili is trying to persuade people to believe that the reconstruction of the cathedral was by his merit, which is a lie,” Ivanishvili stated.