Vandalism in the center of Tbilisi - who got in the way of the Arabic inscription?

25.06.21 15:05

An act of vandalism was committed in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, known for its respect for the cultures of different eras and peoples. The provocateurs tried to completely destroy the ancient Arabic inscription on the remains of the wall of the medieval fortress of the city, which was mothballed by the city authorities in 2016.


The conservation of the excavations with the inscription began after the remains of an even more ancient fortress, fragments of walls and fortress gates were found in Tbilisi in 2012 (on Pushkin Street, 21 and 23) near the building of the State Museum of Arts of Georgia, under the walls of the medieval fortress walls. , on which an inscription in Kufic Arabic script was found. It became clear that the inscription dates back to the times of the Tbilisi Emirate. A Muslim emirate with its capital in Tbilisi existed in the 8th-12th centuries. for five centuries, and ruled first by Arabs and then by Islamized Georgians and Turks - an integral part of the history of Georgia.


At the same time, having made Tbilisi the capital of Georgia, King David Agmashenebeli, who united the country, patronized the Muslim population of the city. Muslims, for example, by order of the king paid taxes lower than residents of other faiths. Even lower than the Armenians who settled here, and the latter paid lower than the Georgians.


But there was nothing strange about such “tax discrimination” of Georgians. King David Aghshmashenebeli especially attracted merchants to the city, who, as is known historically, were almost nonexistent among Georgians. Moreover, in order not to offend the religious feelings of Muslims, David Agmashenebeli forbade Georgians and other Christians to keep pigs in their farmsteads within the city of Tbilisi. It is thanks to this religious tolerance that Tbilisi has become one of the most culturally rich and diverse cities in the world.


After excavations and the discovery of the remains of a fortress from the times of the Tbilisi Emirate, a mini-park was laid out here, a kind of open-air museum. The found Arabic inscription was covered with a glass showcase and listed as a state protected object. However, after some time, someone barbarously broke a glass showcase and struck several blows with a sharp iron object on the ancient inscription. And at the beginning of 2016, there was a threat of complete loss of the inscription. Moreover, there were plans, in general, to "bury" the excavation along with the inscription under the concrete.


However, the intervention of scientists saved the unique artifact. But, apparently, the vandals and provocateurs who "took up arms" against the historical inscription did not calm down and just now "chose the time" for their sabotage. After all, the provocateurs "calculated" well that vandalism against monuments associated with Muslim culture could negatively affect Georgia's relations with friendly Muslim countries.


As for historical Arabic inscriptions in general, there are a lot of them in Georgia and they date not only to the era of the Tiflis Emirate. Moreover, many of them are located not just anywhere, but in Georgian Orthodox churches. And they are sacred like inscription in the church.


So, for example, many inscriptions made in Arabic letters have been preserved in the main shrine of the Georgian Orthodox Church - Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. Basically, inscriptions in Arabic script (sometimes erased from time to time) can be seen on the graves of Georgian kings and members of their families. There is nothing surprising in this - all educated people of that time from the upper class of Georgia knew the languages ​​of "international communication" in the East - Arabic, Persian, and Turkic and did not consider it "shameful" to write in these languages ​​on the gravestones of their relatives and friends. And only Orthodox Georgians were buried in the Svettskhoveli Cathedral under the gravestones with Arabic letters.


In particular, in Svetitskhoveli there is a white marble tombstone with an inscription in Georgian and Arabic. This is the grave of the first wife of King Giorgi XI, Queen Tamara nee Bagration-Davitishvili, who died in 1684. The Arabic text on this slab is an abbreviated translation of the Georgian text. Georgian has the following content (translated into Russian): “When I assumed power in our kingdom, Giorgi, the son of King Shahnavaz, in the fifth year of his reign, an epidemic overtook us and Queen Tamara disappeared from our eyes, and we remained in sorrow. We put her in our crypt and put this marble on her grave. Whoever reads this, forgive her. If someone, a king or someone of nobility, removes this or opens the grave for our sins, let him be called to account on the day of the Last Judgment. From Adam 7192, Chronicle 372 ".


The question arises - will the vandals get to the Georgian shrines and begin to disfigure the gravestones with Arabic letters in the main cathedral of Georgia? Anything can happen if vandalism is not stopped. Moreover, it is well known who used to carry out and carry out such outrage on history in Georgian churches. As you know, these are Armenian nationalists. They used to "fight" precisely with Georgian inscriptions. Erasing them together with frescoes or "knocking down", and instead of Georgian inscriptions "dragged" stones with allegedly Armenian "ancient" inscriptions. And now, apparently, the provocateurs and vandals have decided to "tackle" the inscriptions in Arabic letters.


The customers of this vandalism are obvious - they are those who want to prevent peace in the South Caucasus, "out of the blue" to organize an ethnic and inter-confessional conflict.




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