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Russian media: Armenia wants 450 churches in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, January 20
According to the Russian source, Armenia has applied to UNESCO to recognize hundreds of churches located in Georgia as Armenian.

The agency wrote that Paud Akhundov, a representative of the Azerbaijani President’s Administration, said "caprices” of the Armenian side were a result of many-centuries "falsification” by Armenian historians.

Meanwhile, the move was assessed in Tbilisi too. Georgian officials believed UNESCO was the body to give recommendations on how to preserve a historical building, but it was not able to decide whom the building belonged to.

Georgia’s Minister of Culture Mikheil Giorgadze stated that even Georgia’s ministry of culture could not decide the fate of the religious monuments.

"It’s not a Culture Ministry’s competence to decide religious belonging. We see all of these churches as historical monuments and we take care of them regardless to which religion they belong to,” Giorgadze said.

Nikoloz Antidze, head of Georgia’s National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation said that he had some information concerning the issue.

‘’We have some information about the issue, but UNESCO is not a court that is eligible to solve cultural ownership issues. Large-scale research needs to be conducted,” Antidze said.