Georgians in the Holy Land
Accompanied by over 60 stunning images by top Georgian photographer David Tskhadadze, this collection documents the devastation over the past two centuries of Georgian monuments in the Holy Land. Today, the last vestiges of this ancient culture stand on the verge of destruction, threatening a two-way relationship that has existed for 26 centuries since the first Jews came to Georgia, fleeing the razing of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. From the fourth to the 18th centuries, Georgians were a significant presence in the Holy Land, where they built over 40 churches and monasteries. But after its conquest by Russia, the state of Georgia was unable to protect this ancient heritage, which was lost to other groups, notably the Greeks and Armenians.
The greater part of what travellers and scholars of the 18th and 19th centuries surveyed and described has now almost entirely disappeared. Accidental and deliberate damage has been inflicted upon ancient Georgian monuments up to the present day, including the destruction in 2004 of the fresco of the only known likeness of the Georgian national poet Shota Rustaveli. Expeditions by Georgian scholars from 2001-2007 have sought to locate and document what has survived, a task notable not only for the detective work involved but also the intensity of opposition by some to their work. Furthermore, in making a compelling case for the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem to be designated a United Nations World Heritage Site, Georgians in the Holy Land highlights the problems facing small nations such as Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan that have ancient and unique monuments yet lack sufficient resources for their preservation or protection.
– 192 pages with more than 60 colour illustrations