Georgia’s Mutso Village Nominated for Europa Nostra Public Choice Award

In Europe and the rest of the world, people have the opportunity to vote for their favorites among those monuments and projects that have been awarded Europa Nostra's prizes this year.

Georgia’s highland settlement of Mutso, a recipient of this year’s European Heritage Award for Conservation, is also on the list and fights for votes.

Mutso, one of the former strongholds of the historic Georgian province of Khevsureti (now part of Mtskheta-Mtianeti region), is located on a rocky mountain (1880 m) on the right bank of the Andakistskali river.

The village, almost completely abandoned more than a century ago, is home to approximately 30 medieval fortified dwelling units arranged on vertical terraces above the Mutso-Ardoti gorge, four combat towers and ruins of several old structures and buildings. Difficult to access, the village retains original architecture and is a popular destination for tourists and mountain trekkers.

“The village of Mutso is a remarkable fortified settlement which for centuries was the strongest outpost in northern Georgia, controlling the roads and protecting the state border. The village, strikingly integrated into the surrounding landscape thanks to the harmonious use of materials, was inhabited from the 10th century onwards. The harsh climate, the lack of arable land, the poor infrastructure together water shortages led to the depopulation of the village by the middle of the 20th-century. Through slow deterioration and lack of maintenance, this unique village was set to be lost. In 2014, a project to rehabilitate the settlement was initiated by the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia (NACHP) under the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, with the support of the Georgian Government and in collaboration with other State institutions. The project was also supported through private funding, in particular, the International Charity Foundation Cartu”, the website of European Heritage Awards reports about Mutso.

The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards (as of 2019 the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards) was launched in 2002 by the European Commission and has been organized by Europa Nostra, a pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage, ever since. The Awards promote best practices related to heritage conservation, management, research, education, and communication. In this way, the Awards scheme contributes to a stronger public recognition of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’s society and economy.

The Awards honor every year up to 30 outstanding heritage achievements from all parts of Europe. Up to seven are selected as Grand Prix laureates and one receives the Public Choice Award, chosen in an online poll. All the winners receive a certificate as well as a plaque. The Grand Prix laureates also receive €10,000 each.

You can vote online here.

Photo: National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia

 By Ana Dumbadze 

17 June 2019 17:18