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Georgia’s National Archive collects information on the country’s church treasure

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, November 17
The Georgian National Archive has started collecting information concerning treasure of the Georgian church.

The National Archive’s leadership has already met with the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, and other spiritual leaders in the Patriarchate in Tbilisi in order to provide information concerning the project, which envisages the collection of materials depicting artifacts in Georgian churches.

As the head of the Scientific Department of the Georgia’s National Archive - Ketevan Asatiani – said, the project (named 'Treasure in the National Archive’s Foundations') was launched last year. Project researchers are using photo materials to gain information on destroyed and lost church treasure.

While discussing the goal of the project, Asatiani stated that after the completion of the project, the scientists and explorers would be able to create a renewed achieve and an entire catalogue of Georgian church treasure.

“We have already studied up to 1,000 different materials, including the XIX-XX century photo materials and photos taken during various expeditions in various Georgian churches,” Asatiani said, saying that the major part of the treasure reflected in the photos had either been destroyed or disappeared.

“When we complete the project, we will have information as to which works have been destroyed, preserved in Georgian museums, or lost entirely,” Asatiani said.

During the meeting, Ilia II said that the country required “a good museum and good storage” for any lost artifacts.

The Patriarch also said that Georgia could still regain some artifacts that are kept in foreign museums or private collections.

“I have seen Georgian treasure in various foreign museums or private collections; we can still regain them,” Ilia II said.