On June 30, at 5 pm, in the yard of the Simon Janashia Georgian National Museum, a presentation of the publication "Occupied Heritage" prepared by the State Agency for Religious Issues was held, which was attended by the representatives of religious organizations, the governmentof Georgia, diplomatic corps and academia.
For the first time in the history of independent Georgia, the publication fully reflects the historical and cultural monuments of the Orthodox Church and religious minorities in the occupied territories of Georgia, the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region (archival and new photo material).
The guests were greeted by Zaza Vashakmadze, Chairman of the State Agency for Religious Issues who noted that the new edition bought together all the fact that the State Agency for Religious Issues has pointed out in all reports or other documents since its establishments and still does the same – in particular, a deplorable situation of our historical heritage or modern religious buildings in the occupied territories. He cited specific facts of our monuments in the occupied territories that are being demolished, looted, destroyed, damaged, and Georgian traces are being erased. The Russian Patriarchate has verbally acknowledged the jurisdiction of the Georgian Orthodox Church in both the A/R of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region, nevertheless, the facts of violation of ecclesiastical (canonical) boundaries by Russia and the Russian Church continue.
In the album "Occupied Heritage" you will see for the first time the photos of the cult buildings existed in the occupied territories of Georgia gathered together, the vast majority of which are published for the first time and represent unique archival material. The black and white photographs were taken in the 50s and 60s of the 20th century and were published for the first time. Color photos were published even in 2019. "New photo-facts, together with the archival photos, allow comparison and drawing objective conclusions," said Z. Vashakmadze.
Giorgi Volski, the first Deputy Charimnan of the Parliament, Zurab Abashidze, Special Representative of the Prime Minister for Relations with Russia and David Patsatsia Minister for Reconciliation of A/R of Abkhazia, addressed the invited guests..
At the end of the presentation, the guests were given the album „Occupied Heritage” as a gift.