“It is unprofitable to restore Bosli” – whether the art museum is being demolished


Conclusion It is dated July 1 and its preparation was created 3 years ago To the company The new Minister of Culture, Tea Tsulukiani, was appointed to this post shortly after his appointment.

The building of the Art Museum has been in a bad condition for many years and this is news to no one, especially to the working people who have written numerous letters to the Ministry of Culture over the years. Staff have been asking for permission to save the building and move the collections to a safe place for years. At the same time, the National Museum, of which the Art Museum is a part, worked with international partners at the Shalva Amiranashvili Museum. Rehabilitation And exhibit evacuation plans. Both plans existed before Tea Tsulukiani was appointed minister, but the Ministry of Culture could not find the funds to renovate the building, nor did it allow the museum to move art funds to safe buildings. Many specific icons are preserved in these specific funds, the transfer of which requires the consent of the church in addition to the ministry.

Back in 2017, the then Minister Mikheil Giorgadze and the director of the National Museum, Davit Lortkipanidze, said that the rehabilitation of the museum should have started – if this condition did not remain a condition, the rehabilitation would be completed by 2021. Museum staff say in private that the rehabilitation of the art museum was hampered by a lack of political will and adequate funding.

Videography reflects the design concept of an updated art museum.

The general concept of the Art Museum Rehabilitation Project was developed in accordance with the vision of the Georgian National Museum and modern international standards by the renowned architect Jean-François Milou (France) / studioMilou (France-Singapore). Jean-François Milo is also the author of the master plan for the Tbilisi Museum District (Avenue of the Arts). He has been cooperating with the Georgian National Museum since 2006.

In April 2021, the newly appointed Minister Tsulukiani presented a new director at the Art Museum and issued an order to prepare in three months Museum restoration plan. To date, in addition to the ambiguous conclusion of the examination, there is a transfer of staff to a safe place and Funds Evacuation Action Plan, According to which Amiranashvili Museum is already in emergency mode.

According to this plan, the evacuation of the building should start on August 5, ie in a few days. Despite the formal existence of the plan, it is unclear to current employees how they are involved in the relocation process, how the safety of the artwork is maintained. According to the plan, the process will be led by the newly appointed director of the museum and the trustees of the ministry, as well as the heads of the infrastructure department of the ministry and the General Inspectorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Property. Amiranashvili Museum staff say moving the exhibits is a difficult and complex task. The process requires appropriate knowledge, and accelerated or chaotic decisions may damage the exhibits.

Part of the staff of the Art Museum and cultural heritage suspects that the new minister and the new head of the museum, Nika Akhalbedashvili, are not going to keep the function for the museum building, in their opinion the word “unprofitable” did not appear in the engineering report. This is perceived as a signal that the building may lose its function as a museum and thus violate the concept of “Museum Street”, which was still Shalva Amiranashvili’s idea and which the National Museum has been trying to implement in recent years. It is also said that the new manager of the museum, in a closed meeting with the staff, considered the now almost inactive building of the Presidential Administration as an alternative space for the Art Museum in Avlabari, and the museum building may be transferred to the balance of the Ministry of Economy.

The Ministry of Culture resolves and does not explicitly say whether it has decided to demolish the building and lends a hand to the previous government. The Minister of Culture of the Georgian Dream says that the overpass built on Pushkin Street during the “old government” played a big role in the demolition of the Art Museum building. In 2016, Was done during the mayoralty of Davit Narmania, in the fourth year of the Georgian Dream being in power.

The ministry statement said nothing about the large-scale building built near the museum, which caused no less damage to the overpass than the nineteenth-century historic building. Panorama is a few meters away from one part of Tbilisi and the walls of the museum. The glass building, built against the background of public protest, completely violates the character and aesthetics of the historic district. During its construction, a number of buildings in its vicinity were significantly damaged, including the historic building of the Art Museum.

“It is clear that the Ministry is not demolishing the museum, the museum is being demolished due to the inaction of the perpetrators of the lies and their arrangement of the overpass on Pushkin Street in such a way that part of the museum building has been turned. Also, the museum building unfortunately no longer meets the standards of elementary seismic resistance.

The Ministry of Culture once again reminds the public that according to the conclusion of the examination conducted by the Ministry of Culture in July of this year, the museum building is in the worst condition. In particular:

  • Reinforcing the wing of a building along Lado Gudiashvili Street is technically difficult and costly. Its strengthening is unlikely to be cost-effective;
  • The load-bearing structures of the wing located along Alexander Pushkin Street have large deviations, deformations and fractures, making it impossible to maintain and strengthen this part of the building;
  • It is possible to strengthen only the central entrance of the building;
  • Underground construction of groundwater from technogenic and atmospheric water inflows;
  • “The building has no anti-seismic belts on either the floor or roof levels, which is why it does not meet the basic seismic standards.” This is how the Ministry of Culture responds to the fears related to the museum with the status posted on its Facebook page. Neither the director of the museum nor any employee of the ministry speaks to the additional media.

Unprofitable can be a garage restoration, or a Bosley restoration, even if it has no intangible value to you. A profitable word, to put it mildly, is completely inappropriate in relation to the treasures of a nation, yes! The museum building is a treasure of the nation, Tbilisi! You should not look for a cheap solution, but pass on to the next generation what the ancestors created and brought to us “- This is how art critic Tamar Amashukeli responded to the report on the Art Museum on Facebook.

The Art Museum building was built in the 1830s. This is one of the first buildings with which European architecture was introduced in Tbilisi, and it is an important building for the city not only because of its architecture, but also because of the functions it housed at different times. The collections preserved in its repository are also invaluable, which, in addition to ancient icons, combines the works of thousands of Georgian and foreign artists.

“The state is obliged to ensure the complete rehabilitation of the Art Museum building! It is not my invention, it is written in the current constitution that the state takes care of the protection of cultural heritage (Article 5). I say with full responsibility that no official has the right to refuse to rehabilitate the monument on the grounds that the rehabilitation is “unprofitable”. Finally, if everything is so clear, what could be the reason for the “unprofitability”? I can not bet, but maybe the reason for this is the interests of “Panorama Tbilisi” a few meters from the building – Sulkhan Saladze, the former chairman of the Young Lawyers, wrote on Facebook after the discussion on the conclusion of the examination started.

According to the evacuation action plan approved by Tea Tsulukiani, the process starting on August 5 will continue until February 1, 2022, after which work will begin on a new museum project.