Tbilisi's Art Palace museum to expand into new space

Art Palace museum is one of stand-out venues in the Georgian capital for its architecture and styling. Photo via Art Palace.

Agenda.ge, 24 Sep 2021 - 13:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

"Unique" museum exhibits of textile and silver crafts will find new home in an expanded space of Tbilisi's Art Palace museum, after the culture ministry's announcement it had obtained property adjacent to the venue on Thursday.

The ministry revealed it had purchased a "historical building" located next to Art Palace, with a space of over 400 square metres. It is intended to be used for housing collections formerly found in vaults of the Folk and Applied Arts Museum, before the items were handed to Art Palace two years ago.

In the announcement, the culture body said the move would provide "special and safe space" for the collections of textile and silver - previously housed at the Folk and Applied Arts Museum since 1911. The collections had lacked such dedicated vaults until the move, the ministry added.

The newly obtained space will house the exhibits until 2022, when it is expected to be renovated and developed into a "fully fledged museum space".

The ministry's acquisition of the venue from a private owner involved mediation from Art Palace director Giorgi Kalandia. The space had originally been part of the current Art Palace complex, originally commissioned by German Prince Konstantin von Oldenburg in the late 19th century.

Located at 6, Ia Kargareteli Street in Tbilisi, the museum building is a stand-out spot in Tbilisi due to its remarkable architecture and styling. It was intended as Oldenburg's present to Georgian woman Agraphina Japaridze, his romantic partner who left her husband and the western Georgian city of Kutaisi to move to capital Tbilisi in the 1880s.

Its design coming from architect Paul Stern, author of other recognised buildings of the 19th century Tbilisi, the building has been called a "perfect example of Gothic and Islamic architecture" in the official museum history.

Last month, Art Palace and the Dadiani Palace venue in Georgia's west have joined the likes of Musee du Louvre in Paris, State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and Thanjavur Maratha Palace in Tamil Nadu on the roster of palace museums on the Network of European Royal Residences.