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Government Ignores Historical Uflistsikhe

11.10.2006
ufliscixe1.jpgThe vacation season will soon end.  The historical [museum and preserve], Uflistsikhe, has not been attended to for several days.  Museum staff could not cope with the numerous guests during the whole summer.  Notwithstanding that the road leading to Uflistsikhe no longer exists, the number of foreign tourists has increased over last year’s number.

The administrative board of the historical museum and preserve is concerned about a collapse in [an essential] road.  [This road] used to guide tourists to the oldest places in the village.  The road was brought down last year by the Mtkvari River.  Even though President Saakhashvili visited the site, nobody has yet to fix the road.  The Mtkvari River destroyed the path leading tourists to  [the older parts of the village].  Uflistsikhe’s cliff houses, the Godmother’s Church, and ruins of the old city are now unreachable to tourists.  Besides this, the [road collapse] has separated the village from its pastures.

The staff at Uflistsikhe also complained about [lack of] funds.  The watchman and the guide work above and beyond their small salaries.  The guide, Gigutsa Tatrishvili, said he led, on average, eight [tour] groups a day.

Most tourists arrive to [Uflistsikhe] by train, though local residents are thankful that the government has repaved the highway leading to their village.  “Many tourists used to come by the local trains that passed through the village.  However, only one train is operating now, and this has resulted into the reduction in the number of tourists.  [The train] also used to be very inexpensive,” said residents of Uflistsikhe.

Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

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