The Gospel of Tsughrut (Akhaltsikhe region, Georgia), which is one of the most valuable artifacts of medieval Armenian miniature, has received new life.
Locals considered the Gospel the guardian of the village, attributed miracles to it, and didn’t wish to part with it even temporarily. The employees of the Restoration department of Matenadaran were compelled to go the village with the necessary tools and materials in order to restore the 10th century Gospel on the spot. They have worked on the restoration of the manuscript for 10 days.
The Gospel of Tsughrut is an Armenian manuscript containing four Gospels of the New Testament. It was copied in 974 by unknown painter. It consists of 394 pages, has a silver cover, and 13 miniatures. The manuscript is known for unique expressiveness and artistic qualities, and its structure bears traces of ancient manuscript art.
The Gospel was brought to village of Tsughrut from Ilija village of Western Armenia in 1830, and has been carefully preserved there by Saponjyan family.
Three specialists left for the village to restore the manuscript – restorers Arthur Petrosyan, Artavazd Ayvazyan, and biologist Lusine Margaryan. They have been equipped with a laboratory toolset. The cabinet used to store the Gospel has been repaired as well.
According to the Head of the Restoration Department of Matenadaran Gayane Eliazyan, it has been a unique case of restoration outside Matenadaran and appropriate conditions. As all attempts of the last 50 years to transport the manuscript to Matenadaran have been unsuccessful, specialists have had no other choice but to go to the village and repair it on place.
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.