Friday, June 19, 2009

Byzantine church destroyed in Abkhazia

Architectural remnants of a Byzantium church were demolished by a bulldozer in the village of Reka, Abkhazia, according to Vadim Bzhania, a local official.

“Group of businessmen with the help of a local resident committed this act of vandalism,” he further explained, adding, "in the village everyone knows who actually conducted the process of clearing the land of archaeological sites. The damage cannot be repaid with money, these are priceless objects of historical and cultural heritage."

The local administration’s archeologists carried out an expedition to the village of Reka in January 2009. Experts made photo survey of the territory where unexplored remnants of the medieval fortresses and churches were located.

The village appeared to be a unique archeological complex where up to ten cultural sites were registered including two fortresses, up to six ruins of medieval churches, a colony of the Bronze Age and a sepulchral construction. All objects need detailed research.

Abkhazia is a breakaway region in the northwest section of Georgia. After a military conflict last year between Georgia and Russia, Russian troops occupied Abkhazia and recognized its independence.