Values ​​such as the Okonsky Triptych, are returned to the original owner after any war - Director of the National Museum Merab Zaseev

Tue, 15/03/2016 - 20:09

The icon of Okonsky Triptych is of great artistic value. This is a rare work of early Byzantine school of icon painting, made by ivory carving, decorated with pearls, gold and silver, told the news agency "Res" director of the National Museum of South Ossetia Merab Zaseev, commenting on the issue of returning to South Ossetia from Georgia the Okonsky triptych, stolen in 1991 from the Local History museum of the Republic.

"The fact that there is grandeur in this icon says about its value and importance in the Christian world, - said Zaseev. - It is surprising that the fragments of the similar icons are at the Royal British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of New York, and we had it fully. "

Zaseev has noted that according to the available information the Okonsky Triptych in value is in the same list with the icon of Our Lady of Blachernae.

"These icons are masterpieces of early Byzantine school of icon painting, - said Zaseev. - In our museum the Okonsk Triptych was since 1925 according to the decision of the Central Executive Committee. By the decision of the CEC the icon was removed from the Okonsky church in Znaur district of South Ossetia and handed over to the museum - Zaseev said. According to certain information, this icon was presented to the Alan prince by the Byzantine emperor. "

Zaseev has noted that the icon is the exhibit of paramount importance for the museum.

"Each icon, especially in the Middle Ages, when in the Caucasus was spread Christianity, was handed over with a prayer, and every icon belonged to a certain community, - added Zasseev.- And, of course, it was of great spiritual importance for them."

The director has noted that it is difficult to estimate the importance of the Okonsky Triptych.

"The icon was venerated by all Orthodox Christians – he said. - But, unfortunately, during the Georgian aggression, the icon was lost, and, according to the available information, is now in Georgia. Furthermore, attempts were made to its sale; it was estimated at 2.5 million euro."

Zaseev has expressed the hope that during the negotiation process the parties will approach with great care to the issue of returning the Okonsky triptych to South Ossetian authorities.

"If we could only talk about an objective assessment of the situation by the International community and those involved in the consequences of the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia, such values are usually returned to the original owners after any war, - said Zasseev.- And we honestly cherish hope that this issue will be considered objectively, with due attention and the process will lead to good results. "

The day before, at a meeting with the President of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov, Presidential Envoy for post-conflict settlement Murat Dzhioev has noted that in Geneva South Ossetian representatives intend to raise issues of preserving the Ossetian artifacts being now in Georgia.

"Once again, we will raise the issue of cultural heritage, the return of the Okonsky Triptych to South Ossetia, stolen in 1991 from our Local History Museum and being now on the territory of Georgia", - stressed the envoy.

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