Tbilisi's State Silk Museum closed for long-awaited rehabilitation

The museum venue has been closed off for the rehabilitation projected to run until late 2022. Photo via State Silk Museum.

Agenda.ge, 19 May 2021 - 18:09, Tbilisi,Georgia

The State Silk Museum, a Tbilisi venue housing exhibits detailing the country's position on the historical Silk Road and its rich cultural legacy in textile and fabrics, has closed for the much-awaited rehabilitation that will reinforce, update and renovate the building and its yard by the end of the next year.

Mayor Kakha Kaladze announced the news at a city government meeting on Wednesday, revealing the rehabilitation of one of the earliest museums in the country - announced last year - was starting as part of a number of works focusing on the Old Town section of the capital.

The 3.3 million GEL ($973.000/€797.000) renovation project involves the culture ministry, the Tbilisi Development Fund, Tbilisi City Hall, the International Association of Francophone Mayors, and the State Silk Museum itself. Beside funds for the physical rehabilitation work, the effort includes €50,000 set aside for developing programmes at the venue.

Both the interior and exterior of the historical building - a cultural heritage monument itself - will be updated in addition to the yard of the museum, Kaladze said on Wednesday. The 2020 announcement had also said a drainage system in the base of the venue, a long with heating and ventilation systems, would be installed.

The building of the museum is a cultural heritage monument, with the institution launched in 1887 and the venue built in 1892. Photo via State Silk Museum.

The mayor cited the "unique" collections of the museum for their role in detailing the history of silk production and use both in the South Caucasus and regions around the world, and said the rehabilitation would "showcase" the importance of the venue and its collections.

The State Silk Museum houses local exhibits as well as items originating in over 60 countries abroad, while also boasting a library of natural sciences books in over a dozen European, Asian and Middle Eastern languages dated between the 18th-19th centuries.

An exhibition of seashells, an educational programme for young visitors based on a dye collection at the museum, and a show presenting "the complete process of silk making: from silkworm to fabrics" are some of the displays and educational programmes available there.

The commencement of the rehabilitation work comes along with Tbilisi City Hall's latest phase in renovating historical Old Town areas of the city. The State Silk Museum is located at 6 Tsabadze Street in the capital.