The Movement for Cultural Heritage (Sakdrisi Committee) responds to the decision taken at the annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on July 3, 2023, to add the following clause to the resolution of the Assembly of Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues: “The Assembly condemns the deteriorating humanitarian situation and human rights situation in the regions of Georgia occupied by Russia – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. Also, the most important issue is erasing Georgian traces on cultural heritage monuments and changing their appearance in both occupied regions, which in turn is a direct result of Russia’s current occupation and “Russification” policy.”
Nikoloz Samkharadze, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament of Georgia and the head of the Georgian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, presented the mentioned initiative at the meeting. The committee discussed the annual report and endorsed the resolution “Strengthening Regional Security by Promoting Democratic and Inclusive Societies”.
Committee members unanimously supported the addition of this clause to the resolution.
“For the record, in April 2023, for the first time after 30 years after the war in Abkhazia, the “Movement for Cultural Heritage” started a thorough study of the current state of the Georgian cultural heritage monuments in Abkhazia.
As a result, it became clear that the condition of the unique churches and fortresses in Abkhazia is alarming and requires the immediate intervention of specialists to start the humanitarian process and preserve and save them.
On several monuments, for an unknown purpose, the so-called restoration works are underway, the progress of which raises a reasonable suspicion that the aforementioned serves to distort the authentic appearance of the monuments and deliberately erase the Georgian traces.
It is important and welcome that after studying this activity of our organization and the current condition of the monuments on the ground, international organizations have become more interested in the mentioned issue.
“Movement for Cultural Heritage” welcomes the change in the OSCE resolution and the increased international interest in Georgian cultural heritage monuments in the occupied territories. We hope that the above-mentioned initiative will become the beginning of more active and effective steps not only by the OSCE, but also by other international organizations to save the unique Georgian cultural heritage,” announces activists’ union “Movement for Cultural Heritage.”