The activists of the NGO “Movement for Cultural Heritage” (Sakdrisi Committee) appeal to the Minister of Culture and the head of the National Agency for the Protection of Monuments to immediately continue the rehabilitation and conservation works of the Satkhe Monastery, located in Bolnisi Municipality, Kazreti District, Georgia.
According to their assessment, the current condition of the VIII-XI century monastery is alarming and requires immediate response. The members of the movement say that the remaining part of the temple is dilapidated. The western and eastern walls are open to the entire height, there are quite complex and deep cracks on the other walls as well. Certain stones are on the verge of falling, which will cause the entire wall to collapse.
It is mentioned in the statement that, despite numerous attempts, it was not possible to receive information from the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Georgia about the fate of the monument.
“The VIII-XI century Satkhe Monastery is in danger!
Satkhe Monastery (Bolnisi Municipality, Kazreti District, Georgia) is distinguished by its unique carvings, impressive stone decor, wall painting (which, in fact, is no longer readable), and an iconostasis, which is included in the treasure fund of a Georgian historian, archaeologist and public benefactor Ekvtime Takaishvili.
Activists of the “Sakdrisi Committee for Cultural Heritage” appeal to the Minister of Culture of Georgia – Mrs. Thea Tsulukiani and the head of the National Agency for the Protection of Monuments of Georgia – Mr. Nikoloz Aznaurashvili.
The current situation of the Satkhe Monastery (VIII-XI centuries) is alarming and requires an immediate response, in particular, the rehabilitation and conservation works, which were carried out on the monument in 2018 by the “Sakhdrisi Committee for Cultural Heritage” initiative, should be continued immediately. It started in the spring and stopped in 2020. During this period, the following works were carried out on the monument:
In the first stage of the rehabilitation works, the church and the surrounding area were cleared of soil and trees.
In 2019, the foundation of the monastery was strengthened. The Italian restorer, Stefano Volta, an international expert recognized by ICCROM (The International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) was personally involved in the process.
In 2020, the walls were rearranged.
Unfortunately, the above is not enough for the monument to survive. There are still many restoration stages left before the full restoration of the Satkhe monastery.
Unfortunately, despite numerous activists’ attempts, it was impossible to get information from the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Georgia about what fate awaits the monument, but its current situation is quite difficult. The remaining part of the temple is dilapidated. The western and eastern walls are open to the entire height, there are quite complex and deep cracks on the other walls as well. Certain stones are on the verge of falling, which will cause the entire wall to collapse.
Without continuing the rehabilitation works on the temple, it will not be possible to preserve the monument for a long time due to frequent earthquakes and natural precipitation, aggravating its already difficult condition.
It should be noted that, many years ago, Ekvtime Takaishvili himself from Satkhe monastery took the iconostasis from the Kazreti forest and gave it to the Society for the Spreading of Literacy among Georgians for its protection, after which it was transferred to the art museum.
In the courtyard of the Satkhe Monastery, several tombs dating back to the 17th century were also discovered.
Here, we would like to note that the wall ornament of the Satkhe Monastery, which is depicted on the logo of the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, is currently on the verge of destruction.
Please be considerate and take appropriate measures in the near future to resume the rehabilitation works of the monastery,” reads the statement.