SOCIETY
A Georgian interested in buying Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem
17 March, 2016
Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem may be bought by a private person who now resides in Georgia. According to the Business Press News, this person is ready to pay several million US dollars for the monastery. The sources that contacted BPN won’t disclose the identity of the person and when asked whether it’s Bidzina Ivanishvili, they said they do not make any more comments. Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem now belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church.

Inside the
monastery, there is a fresco of Shota Rustaveli, the preeminent Georgian medieval poet. It was vandalized several times. In 2004, an unknown person scratched its surface but it was later restored.
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After the incident, by the initiative of the late Georgian tycoon, Badri Patarkatsishvili, a bas-relief of Rustaveli was set up on the Rustaveli street, close to the Monastery. However, in 2010, this monument was vandalized too.

Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem is one of the holiest places for Georgians. It was founded by a Georgian public figure, Giorgi-Prokhore Shavteli, with the assistance of Georgian Royal family, in 1030-1050. During that time, the monastery was located to the south-west of Jerusalem but later on, as the city grew in size, the monastery was naturally ‘moved’ closer to the center. According to legend, the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified was made out of a tree that was cut on the place where the Monastery of the Cross now stands. During medieval times, the monastery became the prominent center of Georgian pilgrimage in Palestine. In 1071, during the Turk invasion, the monastery was ravaged and partly destroyed. However, in 12th century, it was restored and ornamented by the assistance of Georgian King, Davit IV the Builder.

By 17th century, the influence of Georgians in Palestine gradually fell and this monastery, together with other Georgian temples was passed on to the Greeks, eventually subordinating to the Jerusalem Patriarchate.
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