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Channel Istoriali




7th-14th cc. Samegrelo Region, Georgia

The Church of the Virgin in Martvili (7th- 17th century) is one of the most significant monuments in Georgia and one of the oldest and most important centers in Western Georgia, having served as the Episcopal Chair of the Georgian Orthodox Church from the 10th Century until its abrogation by Russian governors at the beginning of 19th Century. At one time, the interior of the church was almost entirely decorated with paintings in various periods from the 14th to the 17th Centuries. The frescos are executed in a combination of both fresco and secco methods, and in the lower register of the church the portraits of kings and nobles are presented along with more traditional iconography. The paintings at Martvili are particularly outstanding because of a number of marvelous portraits of their donors, depicted with a distinctly Georgian combination of Byzantine style and unique individual details. Martvili was also the burial site of the Megrelian kings of Georgia.

a) Diagnostic study and determination of restoration needs of Martvili Church. 2003-2004
Actions completed:
- Technical and environmental studies of the site
- Diagnostic studies and analyses to verify microbiological damage
- Full photo and graphic documentation
- Determination of conservation needs and methods of treatment
- Kerrying out the emergency works
Funded by:
The Getty Grant Program

b) Rehabilitation of the architectural structure of the Martvili church. 2006-2007
Actions completed:
- Rainforcement of the structure
- Cleaning of fasades and roofing
- Inection of cracks
- Putting in order surrounding territory (yeard)
- Full photo and graphic documentation

Funded by:
The Foundation for the Rescue and Preservation of Historical monuments of Georgia

c) Restoration of the frescos of Martvili Church. 2006-2008.
Actions completed:
- Conservation of the frescos
- Treatment of biological damages
- Full photo and graphic documentation
- Climat study
Funded by:
The Getty Grant Program

Ministry of Culture, MOnuments protection and Sports of Georgia

Acknowledgements: Maka Dvalishvili, Guram Cheishvili, David Gagoshizde, Nana Kuprashvili, Temur Gotsadze, Tengiz Gabunia, Paata Nutsubidze, Gia Khurtsilava, Darejan Mgebrishvili, Nikolos Bantsatdze, Mzia Janjalia, Gega Paksashvili, Tamuna Kiknadze, Anna Shanshiashvili, Ipollito Massari, Mark Gittins, Sabina Vedovello, Dimitri Tumanishvili, "Artelab S.r.l." Rome, Italy, E. Privalova "Betania" Center of Technical Study of Paintings



The GACC project "Conservation of the Frescos of the Church of the Virgin in
Martvili (7th -17th c)" had been awarded by the GETTY FOUNDATION. Based on the research conducted during the planning phase in 2003-2004, the project aimes the implementation of the conservation works on the interior frescos. The works had been started in spring 2006 and will last till the end of 2007.
We will be reporting on the progress of the works.