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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Abkhaz separatists blackmail Georgia and UNESCO - to save a unique ancient Georgian fresco they need to agree with the separatist's request first

Abkhazian separatists are finally willing to let UNESCO look closer at the restoration works at Bedia Monastery, built in 999 by King Bagrat III, but won't allow the team to enter from Georgian territory. Georgian authorities believe a unique fresco of the king has been destroyed during work to restore the complex

Bedia Cathedral (Georgian: ბედიის მონასტერი) is a medieval Georgian Orthodox cathedral located in Agubedia, in the Tkvarcheli district of Abkhazia, a Georgian region on the Black Sea coast, currently occupied by Russia with support of Abkhaz separatist groups.

Bedia Cathedral was originally built at the close of the 10th century and consecrated in 999 on the behest of King Bagrat II of Abkhazians, who would go on to become King of the Georgians as Bagrat III and who was interred at the church after his death. The extant edifices, however, date back to the 13th-14th centuries and include a domed cruciform church, a belltower resting upon the northern narthex and the ruins of an old palace. The southern wall of the main church contains fragments of contemporary murals, including the portraits of Bagrat II and the representatives of the Dadiani noble family of Georgia.

This complex was one of the cultural centers of Georgia for centuries and had its own unique library. Even more important, it has the only existing fresco of the first king of a united Georgia.

Georgia in 2008 expressed concern about the possibility that the monument could be destroyed, when there was information that Russia was going to conduct restoration works on historical monuments in Abkhazia.
Video footage was broadcasted by the Abkhazian TV channel 'Abaza' showing that the walls and frescos of the monastery were already painted, including the Bagrat III fresco.

In October 2011, media reported that after Ilori Saint George Church, restoration was going to be made to Bedia Monastery too. According to this information, the restoration works was going to be done by the company Tektonik from the city of Vladimir in Russia.

It is now being said by the Georgian National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage that the fresco has been destroyed. The only fresco of Bagrat III collapsed due to mistakes made during restoration works, according to Giorgi Gagoshidze, spokesperson for the agency. He says they were reinforcing the walls of the church when the Bagrat III fresco was destroyed.

The Georgian government thinks the international community should be informed about this problem and get involved. Abkhazia lies in the northwest corner of Georgia and is currently occupied by Russia. Georgian jurisdiction therefore does not apply. Separatist authorities in Abkhazia are not willing to let a UNESCO team to come and save the fresco if they enter the occupied territory from the Georgian mainland. However, Nino Kalandadze, Georgian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister says that the cultural heritage issues are so severe and painful that the Georgian government is ready to discuss other ways to make it possible for the mission to go there, and therefore Georgia is ready to make an exception from the travel restrictions.

Georgia is now ready to make an exception from the travel restrictions and agree with the Abkhaz separatists blackmail. Georgia will let a UNESCO mission enter the territory in order to save a historical monument from the Abkhaz separatist barbarians. Unfortunately according to Kalandadze, UNESCO is unable to send a mission yet, because there are no safety guarantees, as the occupied region of Abkazia is not safe enough even for so well-known international organization, such as UNESCO.

Friday, January 13, 2012

January - month to visit Georgia in your travel calendar for 2012

Georgia - travel destination for January in the travel calendar by , UK journalist specialising in travel.

Every destination has its best time of year. So, to help you plan your trip, Lonely Planet's Tom Hall has put together a calendar of countries best seen in 2012 and published it in The Guardian.

January: Georgia
Winter sports fans and city breakers looking for somewhere new should try Georgia. The country is attracting a growing number of independent travellers who are exploring mountains dotted with historic castles and churches, beautiful towns such as Svaneti and Kazbegi, and the Europe-meets-Asia capital Tbilisi. It won't be warm in January but skiers won't mind: the country's main resort, Gudauri, is a good bet for reliable snow and can be reached by road from the capital in two to three hours.
• bmi ( flies from Heathrow to Tbilisi with returns from £364 including taxes

Read the whole travel calendar for 2012 here, but first, plan your trip to Georgia!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Apply Now to Teach English in Tbilisi, Georgia

Volunteering to teach English in Tbilisi, Georgia is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture and develop skills that will stay with you for a lifetime.  You can choose to stay for anywhere from 3 months to a year—and many choose to stay longer! In addition, the Teach and Learn with Georgia program offers its teachers a number of benefits, including:
  • Paid round-trip airfare to and from your home country
  • A monthly stipend of approximately $300USD
  • Medical Insurance
  • Free accommodations with a host family
  • Training, including teaching, language, and culture classes
  • One round-trip ticket for one vacation per year.

Apply Now to Teach English in Tbilisi, Georgia, Eastern Europe. Direct link here
Read more details about Reach to Teach program in Tbilisi, Georgia - Why to teach English in Georgia and other details, such as cost of living, transportation, climate, history of the program and many other things. Direct link is here

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Georgia Economic Development Results in 2011 - The World Bank Ranking

In terms of GDP growth Georgia is among the top three nations in the world. This was stated by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Vera Kobalia at a press briefing several days ago where she was summing up the economic development results of 2011 in the Republic of Georgia.

According to its data. Turkey holds the first place, followed by Estonia. Georgia is in the third place

Kobalia noted that the forecast of real GDP growth of Georgia is better than that of countries such as Lithuania, Belarus, Armenia, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia, Germany etc.

The Minister also reported that, according to Doing Business World Bank ranking Georgia holds the first place on Registering Property out of 183 countries, and among the top ten on indicators such as building permits, starting a business, and financing.

Kobalia stressed that Georgia ranks second in the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Below you could see all key matrix results. Georgia plans total score improvement by 1 addition point in 2012. Out of top 10 parameters, Georgia shows progress in 8 of them

TOPIC RANKINGSDB 2012 RankDB 2011 RankChange in Rank
Starting a Business78up 1
Dealing with Construction Permits46up 2
Getting Electricity8991up 2
Registering Property12up 1
Getting Credit821up 13
Protecting Investors1721up 4
Paying Taxes4262up 20
Trading Across Borders5434up -20
Enforcing Contracts4140up -1
Resolving Insolvency109111up 2

Complete report could be seen here: