Gov’t support gives new life to Georgia’s medical museum

The Museum of Georgian Medicine History archives include ancient exhibits discovered in archaeological expeditions. Photo from, 15 Sep 2016 - 19:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

After two years of work and thousands of dollars later, the restoration of a museum housing unique records of Georgia’s medical history is almost complete

Visitors to Georgia’s capital will soon be able to enjoy the newly restored Mikheil Shengelia Museum of Georgian Medicine History.

The Museum was established in 1963 and is home to 19,000 exhibits that describe medicine in Georgia throughout the ages.

It was the first museum of its type in the Soviet Union and is located in a classicist style 1872 building on Uznadze St in capital Tbilisi.

The Museum's collection includes medical manuscripts, some of which date back to the 17th-19th centuries. Photo from Gela Bedianashvili/Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia.

Items in the Museum’s archives include medical manuscripts, artefacts discovered in archaeological expeditions, anthropological materials, rare medical literature and items from private archives of famous figures within Georgia’s medical industry.

Some of the unique archival materials describe medical practices of the ancient Colchian-Iberian cultures on the historical territory of Georgia.

The timeline of the items ranges from materials used in the prehistoric age to 12th Century AD artefacts and manuscripts from the 17th-19th Centuries.

The 19th Century Museum building has been under major renovation since 2014. Photo from Gela Bedianashvili/Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia.

Folk medicine items and a photographic collection from the early 20th Century are also present in the Museum’s vaults.

Having fallen into disrepair over the recent decades, the Museum has been under major rehabilitation works since 2014.

Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and Tbilisi City Hall, the rehabilitation and renovation of the building saw an overhaul of its second storey, while the entire roof of the museum was also replaced.

Current works now focus on the front yard of the Museum. These landscaping works are scheduled to conclude later this month.

The overall renovation effort of the Museum was carried out with a budget of about 200,000 GEL (about $86,500/€77,000 EUR*).

* Currencies are equivalent with today's National Bank of Georgia exchange rate.