December 14, 2016
Ancient frescos at Georgia’s 12th Century Gelati Monastery have been damaged by multi-day heavy rain.
Reportedly, rainwater leaked through the roof of the monastery complex in Georgia’s west and damaged a portion of historic wall paintings.
Restorers, who currently worked at the site, said the frescos wouldn’t be destroyed, but they could lose their original appearance.
The 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 had been allocating funds for architectural rehabilitation of the Church. The money was meant to conserve the church's mosaics. The project contained several phases and the full rehabilitation was expected to end in 2017.