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MILLENNIAL GOSPELOF TSUGHRUT HAS BEEN REPAIRED

  A precious sample of Armenian medieval miniature masterpieces, known as the Tsughrut Gospel, gets new life.

The local residents attributed to the Gospel many wonders, considered it the guardian of the highland village Tsughrut (Akhaltsikhe region, Georgia) and did not wish to part with it even temporarily. Therefore, the employees of the Restoration department of Matenadaran, in order to repair the Gospel,were compelled to convey all the necessary equipment and materials and go and stay in the village, carrying out the restoration work. They were in the village from October 8 to 18, 2016 and, working hard, cleansed, treated and restored the 10th century manuscript.
  The parchment manuscript-book contains four gospels of the Bible’s New Testament. It was copied in 974. The scriptorium and the painter are unknown. The writer’s name was Hovhannes, the recipient of the manuscript was a priest Eghia. The manuscript consists of 394 pages, has a silver cover and thirteen miniatures. The manuscript is known for miniatures’ high artistic merit, exceptional expressiveness, and its unique structure, which reflects the tracks of ancient manuscript art. The Gospel was brought to the Akhaltsikhe’s Tsughrut village from Ilija village of Western Armenia, and since 1830 it has been carefully preserved, protected and, as the holy relic of the village, conveyed to the generations by the Saponjyan family.
  Three employees of Matenadaran were moved to Tsughrut village for manuscript restoration for 10 days. There were two restorers - Arthur Petrosyan, Artavazd Ayvazyan, and a biologist - Lusine Margaryan. They took a whole laboratory with them, worked tirelessly, treated and restored the manuscript. The experts also repaired the cabinet in which the Gospel is kept.
  “This is a unique case that a manuscript is reconstructed outside the Matenadaran and our employees in another place, not in appropriate conditions, carried out this work. However, considering the fact that since 50s-60s of the last century the attempts of moving this manuscript to the Matenadaran were unproductive, this was the only way of salvation of the manuscript,” says the Head of the Restoration Department of Matenadaran Gayane Eliazyan.
The restoration works of manuscript were carried out thanks to funding of the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus, which was brought about by diligent searches of Brandenburg University of Technology’s student Arusyak Baldryan.

“Matenadaran”
 Scientific Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts named after Mesrop Mashtots


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