Abkhazian Officials Respond to Centuries-Old Tree Vandalism in Lykhnashta Meadow

Archimandrite Dorotheos Dbar voices concern over centuries-old linden tree vandalism.

Archimandrite Dorotheos Dbar voices concern over centuries-old linden tree vandalism.

SUKHUM / AQW'A ― Archimandrite Dorotheos Dbar, the chairman of the Holy Metropolis of Abkhazia, expressed his concern over the vandalism of the centuries-old linden tree in the historical Lykhnashta meadow, emphasizing the need for self-reflection and accountability within the Abkhaz community.

Dbar highlighted the hypocrisy in the public outcry, urging people to consider their own actions contributing to the deterioration of their homeland, culture, and historical heritage.

The statement reads as follows: 

The criminal who committed vandalism on Lykhny Meadow lives in each of us


It is difficult to even imagine who could commit such an act of vandalism - destroying a centuries-old tree in Lykhny Meadow, a significant place for Abkhaz people! The person who dared to do this is either mentally ill or a serious provocateur.

However, this event is indicative of Abkhaz society. Our hands have reached historically significant places for our people!

Reading the outrage of people (ordinary citizens, public figures, politicians, etc.), to which I undoubtedly join, I have come to the following conclusion: my friends, haven't we, representatives of all strata of Abkhaz society, been engaged in the destruction of the appearance of our cities, our cultural monuments, our temples, and historical sites over the past decade?

Haven't we been destroying our nature, polluting our mountains, rivers, and sea? But, each of us has our own business, so there are no concepts of sacred, untouchable, and historically significant for us. And our patriotic voice is not heard. We have not yet divided and privatised Lykhny Meadow, so it is easier for us to loudly proclaim our love for our homeland.

+ Vandalism at Historic Lykhnashta Glade: Linden Tree Damaged, Abkhazia in Shock
+ Centuries-Old Linden Tree in Lykhny Unlikely to Survive Vandalism, Says Scientist
+ Attempt on the Spiritual Symbol of Abkhazia, by Vitaly Sharia

We have only forgotten one thing: if we turned a blind eye to everything else because it fell within the sphere of our mercantile interests, sooner or later what happened at Lykhny Meadow would occur.

The criminal who committed vandalism on Lykhny Meadow lives in each of us!

Therefore, we don't need loud words on internet resources! Having seen what happened at Lykhny Meadow, we all need to reconsider our actions and then correct what each of us has done to the detriment of our homeland, our country, our culture, and our historical heritage! Otherwise, all our words are empty noise, and our lamentations are hypocrisy!

Forum for National Unity Condemns Lykhnashta Meadow Tree Vandalism

In addition to Dorotheos Dbar's statement, the Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia has also voiced its deep concern over the vandalism of the centuries-old linden tree in the historical Lykhnashta meadow. The party released a statement calling for immediate action to investigate the incident, identify the perpetrators, and bring them to justice. They emphasized the significance of the sacred tree, which holds great importance in the history and cultural heritage of the Abkhaz people.

The statement also highlighted the necessity of maintaining national security and ensuring the protection of cultural and historical sites throughout Abkhazia. The party expressed their dismay at the blatant disregard for such a vital symbol of their heritage and urged the authorities to take all necessary measures to prevent further acts of vandalism against the country's cherished landmarks. The Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia reiterated their commitment to preserving and honouring the rich history of the Abkhaz nation and stressed the need for collective efforts to safeguard their cultural legacy.

President Bzhania Visits Vandalized Ancient Linden Tree

Today, Abkhazia's President Aslan Bzhaniya visited Lykhnashta, where an ancient linden tree was vandalized by an unknown person on the evening of April 5. Environmentalists informed him about the ongoing efforts to save the linden.

Roman Dbar, Director of the Institute of Ecology, explained that a large hollow had formed inside the tree, and the linden was supported by the living bark, which was damaged by the vandal. To strengthen the trunk, the hollow will now be filled with concrete.

Efforts to Save Vandalized Linden Tree in Lykhnashta

Eduard Shamba, prosecutor of the Gudauta region, stated that there are no suspects yet in the Lykhnashta vandalism case. He emphasized that "all residents living near Lykhnashta have been interviewed, and the authorities are working jointly with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Security Service, and the prosecutor's office. An inspection of the scene has been conducted, and the decision to initiate a criminal case will be made."

Regarding attempts to save the linden, Sergey Bebiya, Vice-President of the Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia, initially assessed that it would be impossible to save the tree, and it would have to be cut down to prevent it from drying out within a year. Bebiya described the incident as an inhuman act of vandalism and expressed hope that the perpetrator would be punished.

However, on the afternoon of April 7, Bebiya took wood samples using an incremental borer to determine the tree's age. Damaged areas of the linden were treated with garden wax and antiseptic to prevent water and pests from penetrating the trunk. The cut in the tree will be covered with garden pitch and topped with fresh bark. If the bark takes root, sap flow will begin, potentially saving the tree.

Bebiya explained, "There are chances that the tree's own bark will take root. If this happens, there is a chance to save the tree. If this doesn't help, then the linden's chances of survival are very slim."

Garden var, as specified by Bebiya, disinfects damaged areas and prevents bacteria, pests, and moisture from passing through. According to him, the linden is at least two centuries old and has a hollow which will be filled with concrete to strengthen the tree. Currently, it poses a danger and could fall off. The depth of the damage to the ancient linden ranges from 15 to 20 centimeters. Local residents have fastened the trunk with iron staples at the saw cuts.




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