The monuments of the ancient Georgian capital, Mtshketa, have been have been afforded special UNESCO protection.
The corresponding decision was taken after a meeting of the UNESCO Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which was held early in December in Paris.
The new status was extended to the three monuments. These are the 6th century Holy Cross Monastery of Jvari, the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral where the Robe of the Lord is kept, and the Samtavro Monastery, where the relics of the modern elder St. Gabriel (Urgebadze) lay.
Mtshketa was the ancient capital of the East Georgian Kartli Kingdom from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. The three monuments contain ancient archaeological remains and iconography.