My letter on behalf of Ushguli, Georgia

March 17 2016

To whom it may concern:

I am writing concerning the Chazhashi village within the Ushguli community, referenced by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site at   According to the protection and management requirements detailed at the end of this website, overall management is implemented by National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia and its division – Parmen Zakaraia Nokalakevi Architectural-Archaeological Museum-Reserve.

I traveled there in August, 2015 and was asked by villagers to find financial resources so that they could restore the stone buildings and towers in their village of Chazhashi.  I made contact with Marekhi Charqseliani, who acted as a translator (Georgian to English) at her aunt’s home in the village, which they currently operate as a museum.  According to Marekhi, Mevlud Charqseliani knows how to repair the buildings and towers in keeping with traditional practices.  I would like your assistance with finding the financial resources necessary to assist him in this endeavor.  I have cc’ed both Marekhi and Mevlud in this email.  

I understand that the village is listed as a national monument, and that the law prohibits any interventions on monuments without a prior permit from relevant state authorities and at the same time provides the highest level of protection zoning for these structures as to the elements of the World Heritage property.  I also understand that the overall management and monitoring is implemented by the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia and its division – Parmen Zakaraia Nokalakevi Architectural-Archaeological Museum-Reserve.

According to the website listed in the first paragraph, there is no Management Plan enforced. The local population and its traditional system of community management remain the key factors in the property management.  Is it possible to assist the villagers with at least purchasing materials in order to achieve the goal of village restoration?

ICOMOS Georgia has actively worked on the different issues of Upper Svaneti cultural heritage and particularly on the site of Chazhashi village. In 2000-2001 a multidisciplinary research was implemented to study the different features of the site, including the community and social issues. Based on this research the Conservation Plan and a Site Development Strategy were prepared. These were followed by the rehabilitation-restoration projects for the historical buildings of the Chazhashi village.  Can you describe for me the rehabilitation-restoration projects that have been undertaken in Chazhashi to date?

I have discussed the project with potential funders in the US but have not at this time been able to secure a funding source.  I would appreciate your assistance in locating funding, as time and harsh winters will continue to hasten the disrepair.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.  If you are not the correct person to direct this correspondence, please indicate whom I should contact instead.  


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