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Georgia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.8 Other areas of culture specific legislation


Subject to the Constitution of Georgia, the state recognises the historical role and independence from the state of the Georgian Apostolic Autocephalic Orthodox Church.

The Georgian Apostolic Autocephalic Orthodox Church had obtained the status of independence, the Autocephaly, since 488 and was deprived of it within the period when Georgia was within the Russian Empire (the independent status of the Georgian Orthodox Church was abrogates in 1811). It restored the Autocephaly on March 12, 1917. The complete rehabilitation of its rights took place in 1990 – in the Diptych of the World Orthodox Churches the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church holds the 6th place.

The relationship between the state and the church is specified in the constitutional agreement – the Concordat adopted on 14 October 2002.

Under this Concordat, the state recognises all Orthodox temples, monasteries (both open and closed), their sites and land where they are located, as the property of the Church.

The state also recognises, as the property of the Church, the ecclesiastic cultural objects kept in the National Museums, stocks and depositories, except for the objects which are kept in private collections. However, this principle does not comply with Article 8, paragraph 2 of the Concordat which recognises the joint ownership of the state and the church to the ecclesiastic objects as part of a single national heritage. In spite of the legal discrepancy regarding this clause the state preserves a level of regulation and supervision over the ecclesiastic objects.

The Concordat outlines the obligations of the state and the church in respect of the joint trusteeship, protection and defence of the ecclesiastic cultural objects. Under the agreement with the church, the state shall establish the legal conditions of ecclesiastic objects kept in the museums and depositories, as well as the terms and conditions of the projects of restoration, conservation and maintenance of temples of cultural and historic importance.

The state also assigns the funds from the central budget for the needs of the Georgian Apostolic Autonomous Orthodox Church (1 290 100 GEL in 2005, 2 114 600 GEL in 2006, 3 395 000 GEL in 2007).

The Law on Occupied Territories (23 October 2008) defines the status of the territories occupied as a consequence of the military conflict with the Russian Federation. It defines the extraordinary legal regime of the occupied territories.

Chapter published: 26-01-2016

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