Gelati Wall Painting Conservation Works Begin

A group of international specialists has begun conservation work on the wall paintings at Gelati Monastery – a masterpiece of medieval Georgia, located in the western Georgian region of Imereti and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over the span of eight months, 21 critical areas in need of conservation have been identified, as reported by the Patriarchate of Georgia’s TV “Ertsulovneba” on March 12.

A group of specialists including Georgian and foreign experts under the leadership of Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede, mural conservation specialists, will undertake “temporary and emergency conservation interventions” in these identified areas over the course of three weeks.

Concurrently, Italian specialist Roberto Nardi will study the mosaics of the main cathedral. After the thorough research, Nardi will reportedly develop a comprehensive conservation program to be presented to the Provisional Committee for the Rehabilitation of Gelati under the Patriarchate of Georgia.

“Experts have identified all the problem points and restoration is being done as much as possible. It is impossible to restore everything, these problems did not start a week or a year ago, they have been around for a long time, but the most important thing is that there is unity, a scientific vision that goes through a big international filter,” Davit Lortkipanidze, the secretary of the National Scientific Council of the mentioned committee said.

Restoration efforts surrounding the Gelati Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, have been embroiled in controversy for several years. Last year, the Georgian Patriarchate took over the responsibility for the conservation work at Gelati.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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