Europe's 7 Most Endangered Sites 2018 Includes Georgia's David Gareji

Europa Nostra, the most representative heritage organization in Europe, has included Georgia’s David Gareji Monastery Complex in the list of Europe’s 7 Most Endangered heritage sites 2018.

Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute announced the most threatened heritage sites in Europe for 2018 on March 15.

The 7 Most Endangered for 2018 were selected by the Board of Europa Nostra from the 12 sites shortlisted by a panel of specialists in history, archaeology, architecture, conservation, project analysis and finance. Nominations were submitted by civil society or public bodies which form part of Europa Nostra’s network of member and associate organisations from all over Europe.

The list of Most Endangered Heritage Sites 2018 looks as follows:

  1. The Post-Byzantine Churches in Voskopoja and Vithkuqi in Albania
  2. The Historic Centre of Vienna in Austria,
  3. The Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria
  4. The David Gareji Monasteries and Hermitage in Georgia
  5. The Constanta Casino in Romania
  6. The Prinkipo Greek Orphanage on Princes’ Islands in Turkey
  7. The Grimsby Ice Factory in the United Kingdom

“These gems of Europe’s cultural heritage are in grave danger, some due to neglect or inadequate development, others due to a lack of expertise or resources,” Europa Nostra stated.

Experts from Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute, together with other partners and the nominators, will visit the 7 selected sites and meet with key stakeholders in the coming months. 

"The multidisciplinary teams will provide technical advice, identify possible sources of funding and mobilize wide support to save these heritage landmarks. The specialists will also formulate feasible action plans for the listed sites by the end of the year," the organization added.

This new list of the 7 Most Endangered is announced during the European Year of Cultural Heritage, which celebrates Europe’s shared cultural heritage – at EU, national, regional and local level – and aims to encourage Europe’s citizens to discover and engage with the cultural heritage. 

The David Gareji Monasteries and Hermitage, located in Eastern Georgia on the semi-desert Iori plateau, dates back to the 6th-century and is comprised of 22 rock-hewn monasteries and more than 5,000 sanctuaries and cave-cells.

“The combination of rock architecture, medieval murals, prehistoric archaeology and paleontological fields makes the entire ensemble a masterpiece of Georgian culture. It is registered as a Monument of National Importance,” Europa Nostra reports, adding the site faces the threat of irreversible deterioration.

The Georgian Arts and Culture Center submitted the nomination for the 7 Most Endangered Program 2018.

By Thea Morrison


16 March 2018 16:00