Georgia pursues a specific ethno-religious policy as regards the Armenian cultural heritage, an Armenian expert said.
“In response to demands to return the Armenian churches in Georgia to the AAC, the Georgian side sets unreasonable conditions. The latest statement by Giorgi Andriadze, the head of the Christian Democratic Movement of Georgia, that the Armenian churches in Lori belong to the Georgian Orthodox Church, looks as preparation for a bargain,” Vahe Sargsyan, expert at Mitq analytical center, told a news conference today.
The Christian Democratic Movement of Georgia held a rally in front of the Armenian on December 11 to demand ‘return’ of Georgian churches in Armenia.
“A dozen of Georgian monasteries are situated in the territory of Armenia, in Lore-Tashir. Unfortunately, they have been robbed, what proves that they belong to the Georgian Orthodox Church,” said Giorgi Andriadze. “The Georgian Patriarchate did not deliberately raise the issue to avoid tensions and maintain the status quo. However, the Armenian side aggravates contradictions. So, we can nothing but demand return of our churches.”
“Rumors circulate that Norashen and a number of other churches in the Georgian territory will be returned to the AAC. In exchange, Georgia can receive some churches in Lori and Javakheti. Georgia lays claims to churches in Lori because of Georgian murals on their walls,” Sargsyan said.
He also informed that representatives of the GOC and ACC met recently in the Georgian Patriarchate and requested the Georgian Ministry of Culture to study the situation with Norashen and take action to determine its status. “Participation of the Armenian side in this process is shameful since it casts doubts to belonging of our churches,” he said, adding that the initiative was nevertheless welcomed by the Armenian Prime Minister.
Mais bien sur......