The preservation of the Armenian churches in Georgia has always been under our authorities’ spotlight, a lawmaker of the ruling Republican Party has said, commenting on the situation of the Armenian monuments in the country.
Speaking to Tert.am, Shirak Torosyan hailed the parliament speaker’s recent call on his Georgian counterpart for giving proper attention to the Armenian cultural heritage.
“Our authorities have never failed to raise this problem, which we have been facing for quite a long time. The Ministry of Culture too, has discussed the question with the corresponding Georgian government bodies,” he said.
Torosyan referred to Georgian Supreme Patriarch Ilia II’s earlier statement calling for cooperation between the two Christian countries in the region.
“I think there is already a positive trend, so we may find a mutually beneficial solution in the near future,” he added.
The Republican MP said further that he doesn’t see the cultural monuments in Armenia receiving proper care and attention by the local authorities. He called for appropriate efforts for keeping the problem of common cultural heritage under spotlight.
Torosyan said he doesn’t think that a tougher stance by the Georgian authorities would be appropriate in the current context of the Armenian-Georgian relations.
“I think those problems – if properly worded – can find a solution in the context of common relations,” he said, adding that they observe a positive trend in Georgia’s attitude towards the Armenian monuments.
Commenting on the problem, monumentalist Samvel Karapetyan attributed the situation to the authorities’ failure to take specific action. He expressed hope that the parliament speaker’s recent move will yield a positive result.
Apart from the churches, Karapatyan also called for giving proper attention to the Armenian houses and old schools.
“Armenian monuments have never been properly valued in Georgia,. They haven’t even been registered, and many are just starting to gain certain value for them,” the monumentalist noted.
Commenting on the problem, an expert in Georgian studies, Alik Eroyants, noted that high-ranking government officials have always raised the question in the course of their meetings and visits. “It is simply time to find an urgent solution to those problems,” he added.
The expert said he sees that the incumbent authorities of Georgia are more active unlike their predecessors in terms of seeking solutions.
“The questions has always been raised; the former government simply didn’t have that willingness, while the incumbent authorities are taking certain steps which, in my objective estimation, are not satisfactory at all,” he added.
Eroyants further referred to the Georgian authorities’ decision to allocate money to four religious communions, including the Armenian Apostolic Church, to help them restore the churches and sacred places built in the Soviet years.
As for the Georgian society’s attitude, the expert said he thinks that it is all in all quite normal and adequate. He said the incidents, observed from time to time, are not likely to influence the general opinion.