Ancient church damaged in Akhalkalaki municipality

  • Surb Khach church is built of uncultured stone, mortar and wood. Photo:  Radio Liberty, 4 Nov 2019 - 16:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

Unidentified individuals have damaged icons and other items in Surb Khach Church which is located in Akhalkalaki, a town in Georgia’s southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti.

Akhalkalaki is inhabited mostly by ethnic Armenians.

This is the second case of vandalism in this church in the last seven months.

Representative of Surb Khach Church Nairi Melikian said that the incident was discovered on November 3.

An investigation has been launched into the incident.

The church was also damaged on April 3, 2019.

Police at the time launched an investigation into intentional damage to or destruction of a cultural heritage site protected by the Georgian law. .

The crime is punishable by a fine or up to two years imprisonment. No results of the investigation have been released so far.

The parish of Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches go to the chapel.

Surb Khach Church is located in the centre of the town Akhalkalaki. It is a domed cathedral with a spacious hall. Three pairs of columns hold the cover and the dome. The chapels are on both sides of the altar. It has a double-store bell tower.

Surb Khach church is built of uncultured stone, mortar and wood.

In the 1830s Armenian emigrants from Karin built the church by their own means. Later, in the 1850s, a new church was built on the site of the old church on the initiative of resident of Akhalkalaki, Karapet Yaghubyants.