The presentation of the report by the Georgian National Committee of the Blue Shield – “Implementation of International Humanitarian Law for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of the Occupied Tskhinvali Region” and the launch of the online database of the immovable cultural heritage sites of the Tskhinvali region was held on November 3rd at the Ilia Chavchavadze Literary-Memorial Museum in Tbilisi.
The report and the online database with a map-based visualization platform are the results of a joint project by the members of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace, Newcastle University (UK), Blue Shield Georgia, and its local partner, Didi Liakhvi Valley Museum-Reserve implemented during 2018-2022.
The project was funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Fund (reference ES/M500513/1) through Newcastle University.
The report and its annexes provide detailed information on the damages and threats to each site and the sources of information, further describing the actions undertaken by the national and international actors, followed by the recommendations for the implementation of international instruments to protect the cultural heritage of the Tskhinvali Region.
This report has analyzed over 700 sites and examined national and international actions to protect the region’s heritage. Using multi-source analysis that includes eyewitness reports, interviews, media, social media, published NGO and IO reports, and satellite imagery assessment via Google Earth and published reports by UNOSAT-UNITAR, the condition of the monuments was assessed and a number of categories of damage, destruction, and future threats were identified.
At the event, the public got presented with the findings of the research, as well as the instructions for operating the online map. At the end of the event, guests had the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences on relevant topics. Free copies of the proceedings of the 2021 conference “Protection of Cultural Heritage on Occupied Territories: Georgia and International Experience” organized by the George Chubinashvili National Research Centre for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation were available at the event. The publication includes a joint article by the authors of the report featuring an overview of the preliminary findings of the aforementioned report.
The map and the website are still a work in progress, as the data is being verified, checked, and translated. It is planned to translate the report into Georgian in the near future.