TBILISI (Public Radio of Armenia) — Once the tallest church in Tbilisi, Shamkhoretsots Surb Astvatsatsin (Karmir Avetaran), will soon completely collapse, members of the Armenian community of Georgia warned on February 2.
The community is worried that no one is going to restore the church until it is fully collapsed, as happened with St. Gevorg Church in Sololaki, which collapsed as a result of damage caused by heavy rains.
The construction of a high-rise hotel just five meters from the eastern wall of the church began in 2016, causing huge outrage in the community. The hotel was eventually built, not only damaging the foundation of the church, but also making the remaining church wall visually less noticeable and stripped the building of its architectural value.
In 2018, after a Sunday liturgy, a group of believers from Havlabar’s Echmiadzin church marched to Karmir Avetaran church in a peaceful procession, where they lit candles and prayed at the wall of the church. Unfortunately, this wall has also been ruined: on one side a hotel security booth has been installed, on the other side there is probably a parking lot of the same hotel, and the fir trees planted along the church wall have already grown both in height and in width.
In addition, at the end of 2023 a banner was installed on the parking lot near the church premises stating that the area is for sale.
The community hopes that the Georgian government will show due attitude towards historical and cultural values.