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Alarming results of Bedia Monastery restoration aired

01.02.12 20:13

Alarming results of the restorations works carried out by Russian specialists in Bedia Monastery situated in Georgia`s occupied region of Abkhazia have been aired. Echo of Kavkaz news agency has released a footage depicting the erased unique Georgian frescos, including the one of the first king of the united Georgia Bagrat III.

This is the first time in the last 20 years, the Georgian side has responded to the accusations by the Georgian side. They let TV-journalists into the territory of the medieval Georgian Orthodox cathedral and allowed them to shoot the wall, on which the Fresco of Bagrat III was depicted.

The Georgian side recently said the fresco has been completely erased and the whole monument is facing danger due to the incorrect restoration carried out by Russian and the Abkhaz side.

Representatives of the de facto government of Abkhazia in the footage blame the Georgian side saying that teh unique fresco was erased in bombing in 1992 during the war that was waged chiefly between Georgian government forces on one side and Abkhaz separatist forces supporting independence of Abkhazia from Georgia, Russian armed forces and North Caucasian hired fighters on the other side in 1992-1993.

"The Georgian side has raised this issue for mere political purposes. They want to clutch at anything and use the monuments for this. It is unknown when the fresco of Bagrat II disappeared, although they call this king Bagrat III, they have their own calculations. The king`s part of the fresco was maintained here during the Soviet Union and it was being destroyed eventually, although it completely disappeared during the war [1992-1993], they Georgian artillery was directly bombing the cathedral", Anzor Aguba, the head of the so-called department for protecting the historical and cultural heritage of Abkhazia said.

The released footage says nothing about the resolution made by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), saying that the fresco was likely erased in 2003 in result of the restoration works carried out in the cathedral.
"This can be compared with behavior of Taliban, which blew up monuments of Buddha. It`s quite clear that the fresco of Bagrat III, the first king of the united Georgia is being damaged absolutely purposefully just like the Georgian inscriptions, monuments and any kind of trail of Georgia is being destroyed on the occupied territory during years", Giorgi Gabashvili, the head of the parliamentary committee for education, science and culture said.

The Georgian side continues urging for letting Georgian and foreign experts into the occupied territory for purpose of evaluation of the situation on the ground and further restoration.

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