Rehabilitation project of Fortified Settlement of Mutso in north-eastern Georgia’s historical-ethnographic Khevsureti region has received the Public Choice Award of Europa Nostra, one of the leading heritage organisations in Europe.
According to Europa Nostra, Georgia was chosen as the winner by the “8,500 people who voted for their favorite heritage achievements in Europe via an online poll.”
— Europa Nostra (@europanostra) October 29, 2019
At the award ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on October 29, President Salome Zurabishvili said “Mutso is Georgia, and Mutso is Europe.” “Mutso‘s victory tonight shows that Georgia is returning to Europe and that return starts through culture,” she also tweeted.
According to Europe Nostra, 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.”
However, “the harsh climate, the lack of arable land, the poor infrastructure together with water shortages led to the depopulation of the village by the middle of the 20th-century.”
In 2014, the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia started rehabilitation of the settlement with the support of the Government of Georgia, other state institutions, as well as the International Charity Foundation Cartu.