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US Embassy allocates over $ 500 000 for Jvari Monastery Conservation

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, September 18
The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi announced that the Jvari Monastery preservation project was selected by Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).

As US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan noted, the United States is proud to have the opportunity to preserve the most important monument to Georgia's history.

“The church in Georgia plays a very important role in the history and culture of the community, and the United States is proud to be able to preserve these insignificant symbols of Georgian history,” said Degnan, who visited the project site herself.

The ongoing preservation works also funded by the US Government will now extend to cover the entire outer sandstone masonry of the building, including all 4 facades and all 8 sides of the drum, about 1200 square meters of the wall surface. The first phase of this project was funded with $100,000 also under the AFCP program.

In 2019, the US Ambassador's Cultural Heritage Fund provided $ 100,000 in funding for the first phase of the project, which included a comprehensive multidisciplinary study of the Mtskheta Cross Temple building and the preparation of a conservation project based on that study. International experts were involved in the work, including Mary Kay Judy, an independent expert with the American Association for the Preservation of Architectural and Cultural Heritage. Much of the work has been completed.

In 2020, the US Ambassador's Cultural Heritage Foundation supported the continuation of the project and allocated more than half million dollars for the second phase, which involves physical work under a prepared conservation project. This phase covers 30 months (September 30th, 2020 - March 31st, 2023). The large grant will provide an additional $506,250 for the vital preservation works, which will be done by the George Chubinashvili National Research Center.

“It is expected that conservation will no longer be necessary for the next 20 years after the conservation work is completed,” the US Embassy said in a statement.

As Ambassador Kelly Degnan noted, over the past two decades, the United States has allocated $ 2 million to fund 20 projects in Georgia.

The Jvari Monastery is one of 3 monuments included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site entry entitled Historical Monuments of Mtskheta. The monastery overlooks the confluence of the rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi outside the historical city, around 20km north of capital Tbilisi.