Turkey renovating Georgian church

Turkey renovating Georgian church

Turkey renovating Georgian church

DHA photo

Authorities are renovating the Ishkhani Georgian church in northeastern Turkey in a bid to boost tourism numbers in the Black Sea province, the Artvin provincial head of culture has said.

Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview, Hüseyin Ateş, the Artvin provincial head of culture, said the city was taking the example of Trabzon and Van.

“We have decided to begin a renovation process after seeing the examples of the Sümela Monastery in Trabzon and Akdamar Armenian Church in Van. Those places have seen a boost in tourism interest recently,” Ateş said April 12. “Now we are renovating the Ishkani Georgian church. It will also be a gesture toward Turkish-Georgian relations.”

Earlier this week, Armenian website Newz.az claimed that the restoration works on the church in Turkey had been conducted improperly and blamed the people working on the renovation for being negligent, incompetent and damaging ancient frescos.

Ateş, however, denied the claims. “Unfortunately, there are always doubts on these renovation projects, but we are working with an experienced crew,” Ateş said. “We have also assigned archaeologists to follow those claims.”