Heavy rain damages frescos at Georgia’s historic Gelati Monastery

Gelati Monastry in Kutaisi, Georgia. Photo by Roberto Cantoni.
Agenda.ge, 14 Dec 2016 - 14:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

Ancient frescos at the 12th Century Gelati Monastery have been damaged by several days of heavy rain.

It's understood rainwater leaked through the roof of the Monastery complex and damaged a portion of historic wall paintings.

Restorers currently working at the Monastery in Georgia's west said the frescos had not been completely destroyed but they had lost their original appearance.

Wall paintings of Gelati Monastery. Photo by Roberto Cantoni.

Gelati Monastery, founded by King David IV 'The Builder' in 1106, is one of the most important cultural landmarks of Georgia and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger.

UNESCO described the Monastery, whose main buildings were erected between the 12th and 17th Centuries, as "a well-preserved complex, with wonderful mosaics and wall paintings, representing the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia.”

Since 2013, the United States Embassy to Georgia has allocated funds for the architectural rehabilitation of the church. Part of the money was allocated to conserving the church's mosaics. The project contained several phases and the full rehabilitation was expected to end in 2017.