Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Saint Joseph: Anti-communists in Georgia run amok over Stalin icon in Tbilisi Cathedral

Even as an icon, Joseph Stalin causes panic to all kinds of anti-communists everywhere in the world. Here is an interesting story coming Tbilisi, Georgia Local authorities are investigating the defacing of a recently-installed icon in Tbilisi's main cathedral depicting the legendary Soviet leader.

An unknown culprit splashed paint on Tuesday on the icon, which has been displayed in Tbilisi's Holy Trinity Cathedral for several months, Georgia’s Interpress news agency reported. Footage on social media showed the icon defaced with blue paint. 

A side panel of the icon includes a depiction of the Georgian-born Stalin being blessed by St Matrona of Moscow, a Russian Orthodox saint, during World War Two.

Georgia's Interior Ministry has launched an investigation into the paint throwing incident, Interpress said, without providing any more details. The icon has since been cleaned and the cathedral placed under police guard.

According to Reuters, the icon was gifted to the cathedral by the party "Alliance of Patriots". 

A 2021 poll by the Caucasus Research Information Centre showed that nearly half of respondents said Georgian patriots should be proud of Stalin. And, indeed, they are.