Georgians Claim More Armenian Monuments

The city of Akhaltskha in Georgia

YEREVAN (—Father Hakob Sahakyan, who serves as the Spiritual Director of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Akhaltskha, has told that the Georgian Orthodox Church has appropriated an Armenian church in the village of Damala as one of its own.

Damala is an Armenian populated village in the region of Aspintza, Georgia.

Father Hakob adds that the Georgian Church has also appropriated two Armenian chapels, locally known as the Brother and Sister Chapels, located in the southwestern corner of Akhaltskha.

Local Armenians have contacted Hetq, claiming that Georgian priests have started to organize pilgrimages to the two chapels where religious rites are held.

“Up till now, only Armenians visited these chapels, never Georgians. I don’t know how they are claiming the chapels as their own,” Father Hakob told Hetq.

The priest says there are many artifacts remaining in the chapels attesting to their Armenian origins.

Father Hakob says that Armenians always visit the Damala Monastery to celebrate the holiday of their village.

In his book dedicated to Armenian architectural monuments in Javakhk, Samvel Karapetyan writes that the Damala Monastery dates to the 10th and 11th centuries and that the area is dotted with gravestones typical of the 15th-17th centuries.

Father Hakob has written to the Armenian Ministry of Culture on the matter, and proposes that a research team be sent to the area.

He has also written to the Georgian government but has received no response.

Hakob Simonyan, who heads the Armenian Ministry of Culture’s Historical-Cultural Inheritance Research Center,  confesses that they have no archival evidence as to whether the two chapels are Armenian or not.

“We have to go to the site and examine the structures to see what similarities or differences exist between Armenian and Georgian churches,” noted Simonyan.


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  2. Guest said:

    from what I understood these churches are on Georgian Territory, on Georgian Land, thus it is property of Georgian people FIRST before anyone else, it does not matter who helped to build it and who goes there most of the time, it is on Georgian Land thus there can not be any claims made by Armenian authorities..oh wait I forgot, someone told me Armenians will announce California as “historical Armenian Land” very soon.

    • An Armenian said:

      ha ha ha ha ha, you are so funny. I guess only a Georgian would say that. Why don’t you go sell yourself to the Azeris and the Turks and find out what they will do to you in due time. There is a Blue Mosque in Yerevan that was build by Iranians and it belongs to the Iranians. Armenians don’t claim t belongs to them. There are Armenian Monasteries of St. Thaddeus, St Stepanos and the Chapel of Dzordzor in the north-west of Iran. However, the Iranians don’t claim it as their own. If they claimed it as their own, that would be stealing another culture’s heritage.

    • Greg said:

      Your reply could not be further from the truth. Your reason is full of logical fallacies and a complete lack understanding of history and international law. So what do you say to a Georgian Church in Brooklyn NY? Is it American? What about a mosque in London? Is it an English mosque? At first the answer is obvious… “yes, it is a landmark of the country where it resides” but if we take the question further we understand that it belongs to the culture and the group that brought it into this world. I.E. Russian church of Niece, i.e. Swedish church of San Francisco…. i.e. Islamic cultural center of Davis and lastly Norashen church of Tbilisi (Armenian by all counts). No no….. California is not armenian nor will it ever be historically armenian (that’s just your imagination running wild). However, our landmarks will ALWAYS be protected here in California and our cultural centers will always remain ours. For one simple reason. California is a law abiding state where the rights of minorities are NOT violated. Really can’t say the same about Georgia. Now take a deep breath and ask yourself a question. Why do Georgians despise Armenians so much? We are a minority in your land…. we pose no economic or military threat to you. Our nation in the south is inferior to yours both economically and politically. Yet, Georgians keep on marching towards Armenian monuments as if this issue threatens their culture to the core. Could there be something deeper here? Could there be something troublesome? Possibly an inferiority complex. Just think about it Guest…. Facts are out there…. Rewriting history does not do anyone good.

  3. Samvel said:

    Dear Guest, you know what – You are absolutely correct! California is historical Armenian Land, by the way – without any quotations. And you must understand why it is this way – it is because you grabbed (stole) whatever was and still possible to still from Armenians, but you can not populate it with “pure georgians” (because there is not a such), the territories, or “Lands” are geographically disconnected from your “historical” influence, because there was not such (it was mainly domination, but not relation), your people as any normal thief, would prefer to move to the places and still something that does not require a hard work, cold weather,lack of closer to the sea “resort-style” environment – it isn’t such in historical Armenian Lands… Armenians, on their side, are forced to move away, populate and enrich other parts of the World, which, eventually become historical Armenian Lands, let’s say – 100, 200 etc. Years later.
    So, your “humor” is as good as your mini-empire style mentality – you have to back up by centuries your presence and not only try to drag another Armenian village or territory to your possession – it’s not going to work in a long run – you will loose it anyway.