Georgian PM, Culture and Sport Minister discuss monument restoration, displays, competitions in 2023 plans

  • Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs Thea Tsulukiani held working meeting today. Photo: PM's press office, 7 Feb 2023 - 18:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

Restoration of cultural heritage monuments across Georgia, exhibitions scheduled to be hosted in the country and abroad, and sports competitions set to run this year were discussed on Tuesday in a meeting between Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs Thea Tsulukiani.

Financing for “hundreds of projects” and renovation of 50 cultural heritage monuments were among the plans for the year as announced by the Ministry following the meeting, with competitions for cultural projects and programmes also noted.

In the renovation plans, works on the 6th century Jvari Monastery near the historical capital of Mtskheta, Soviet-era cultural houses in the Shroma and Nagomari villages in Georgia’s west and the state theatre in the western hub city of Kutaisi were highlighted, among others.

The expected launch of the first state laboratory in the South Caucasus for examination of artworks was also among the topics discussed by the two officials.

The Ministry said that three cultural projects of “special importance” would include hosting an exhibition of paintings by the early 20th century primitivist painter Niko Pirosmani at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark in May and at Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland in September.

It added the Georgian culture would also be introduced as part of this year’s Europalia festival, which hosts events in a number of European countries, between October 2023 and January 2024.

Domestic exhibitions will include eight shows at the National Gallery in capital Tbilisi, as well as displays in Sighnaghi Museum in the eastern Kakheti region.

Museum venues will also receive some long-needed attention, with Tbilisi’s Open Air Museum of Ethnography to see its oda houses - built to replicate the traditional residential spaces used in the west of the country - restored and renovated.

Restoration efforts will also update the infrastructure of the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, located in the north-western highland province, where two-storey machubi houses typical for the locality will be renovated.

In the field of sport, the PM and the Minister discussed the upcoming hosting of the Freestyle Ski, Snowboard, and Freeski World Championships in Georgia’s winter resort of Bakuriani, set to launch later this month.

Preparations for international events also include the work for the European Under-21 Football Championship, which that Georgia will co-host this year with Romania.

Plans to launch a sports university in the country in 2025 were also noted by Garibashvili and Tsulukiani, while infrastructure for youth camps across the country will also be updated for visitors with special needs.

The projects will be financed from the 2023 budget of the Ministry, which has been set at ₾431 million ($163mln).