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I’am Georgian and Therefore I’am European...

The Unique Georgian Alphabet Keeper of The Georgian Treasury Chateau Leuville Search For Nikala Crusaders And The Kingdom of Georgia Reserve ofThe Royal Family Trip to The Cinema


National Tourism Agency

PUBLISHER Vladimir Dzhishkariani EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Irine Jordania PROJECT CONCEPT Giorgi Akhalkatsi ENGLISH TEXT EDITOR Tea Bakhtadze TRANSLATOR Tea Bakhtadze INVITED MARKETING MANAGER Leli Mirijanashvili INVITED EDITOR Nino Daraseli PHOTO EDITOR Zviad Mosiashvili LAYOUT CONCEPT Levan Asatiani AUTHORS : Buba Kudava / Irine Jordania/ Nino Natroshvili / Shorena Murusidze/ Esma Mania PHOTOS : Maka Kukulava / Daro Sulakauri/ Niko Krepsi/ Sopo Abashidze National Centre of Manuscripts/ Buba Kudava FOUNDER Vladimir Dzhishkariani DIRECTOR Vladimir Dzhishkariani IT DIRECTOR Zviad Mosiashvili DISTRIBUTION Mikheil Amashukeli ACCOUNT Paata Salia PARTNERS:

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Georgian National Museum / Georgian State Literature Museum / National Centre of Manuscripts Georgian National Archive / The Administration of the President of Georgia / International Union For Conservation of Nature Department of Tourizm and Resorts of Georgia / The Agency of Protected Areas / Ministry of Economy and Sustainable of Georgia The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Georgian National Investment Agency Press-speaker of the President of Georgia Mrs. Manana Manjgaladze / Director “GALA GALLERY”- Mrs. Khatuna Meliqishvili Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia Nikoloz Rurua /The Georgian Ambassador to France Mamuka Kudava Publisher by: Publishing House ‘MODI’ Tbilisi, 0171, Kostava str. 68, build 3 Phone/Fax: +99532 409398, +99532 409397 E-mai: Copyright by Publishing House ‘MODI’ LTD All rights reserved Printed By: Publishing House ‘MODI’ LTD

COVER Oleg Timchenko “VOGUE” From the collection of Khatuna Melikishvili

jer kidev XII saukuneSi cnobili sparsi poeti xayani Sirvaneli Tavis leqsSi qristian qals qarTulad uxmobs: ‘’moi, moi’’. Sua saukuneebis erT-erTi aRmosavleli poeti ki ambobs: ‘’saqarTveloSi viyavi da sul moi, moi viZaxeo’’. rogorc Cans, yvelaze xSirad stumarTmoyvare qarTvelebisgan enis armcodne mogzaurs swored ‘’modi’’ (Tu misi xalxuri forma ‘’moi’’) esmoda da yvelaze adviladac am sityvas imaxsovrebda. qarTvel kacs ver warmoudgenia rame martom akeTos, vinmes ar Seexmianos, ar dauZaxos, ar moipatiJos, azri ar gauziaros. albaT amitomaa amdeni ‘’modi’’ Cvens saubarSi, saqmeSi, cxovrebaSi. qarTvelebi xom ‘’modiT’’ viwyebT: modi vicekvoT, modi vimReroT, modi vTqvaT, modi gavakeToT, modi avaSenoT, modi davlioT, modi wavideT, modi vibrZoloT, modi vifiqroT, modi davweroT, modi vicocxloT da ase usasrulod... erTxelac saubari albaT ase daiwyo: modi, ’’modi’’ gamovceT...

buba kudava


To Georgia

Spring 2012


In one of his poems, the 12th century Persian poet, Khaqaini Sherwani, used the word modi when his lyrical hero was trying to attract the attention of a Christian girl. Centuries ago, foreign visitors used to associate the word modi with Georgians, and the country, as they would often hear Georgians say “modi, modi, modi.” Modi is Georgian for “come” and is the word we use to informally call or invite somebody over, yet the meanings within this word are boundless. “Please come over, come in, have a seat, make yourself comfortable…” It is as if this word reflects why Georgians find it unimaginable to do things on their own and invariably invite others to join in, welcome them into their homes, share their experiences and ideas. More often than not, our discourse starts with modi, indicating that the listener is very much welcome - let’s dance, let’s sing, let’s talk, let’s drink together, let’s go, let’s fight, let’s think, let’s write, let’s live our lives… One conversation might even start with, “Let’s publish Modi!



To Georgia

Spring 2012




24. The Unique Georgian Alphabet

Keeper of The Georgian Treasury


Chateau Leuville More Than Just A





62. Crusaders And The Kingdom of Georgia


Walk Around The Grain Square



trip to the cinema

A Georgian


Nat ional Costume At the beginning the woolen cloth was called Chokha, lately clothes made from this fabric was named the same way. The Chokha indicated dresses of both sexes, but finally it referred to a male dress only. Generally, the Chokha is a Caucasian phenomenon and each nation of the region has specific style of the Chokha. Not only that, even a Russian or Cossack model exists. Baron Wrangell, the last leader of the Anti- Bolshevik White Army in Southern Russia, worn the black Chocka with decorative cartridge pouch on both sides of the chest, during the whole Russian civil war, that’s why he was called “ the black Prince”. Wrangell had many imitators; hence, for Europeans the black Chokha subconsciously is associated with Russian White Emigration Movement. In Caucasus the Chohka was introduced from Iran and went through several stages of modification until it received the final original shape. In Georgia it spreads as of 17th century and establishes itself as one of the main features of the national clothing. The Chokha was sewn from Georgian or Dagestan woolen cloth, mostly it is black, dark red or maroon. For celebrations the white Chokha was made from the tight fabric. Traditionally, Caucasian Chokha outfit included Samasres (cartridge pouches) on the chest, the belt with silver decorations and the sword, which was the main attribute of the Chokha. In the late the 19 th century there were four types of Chokha in Georgia: the Kartl-Kakheti Chokha or eastern, the Imereti Chokha or western, the Caucasian chokha, and the Khevsur Chokha. Eastern Georgian Chokha was knee length and cartridge pouches were sewn on both sides of the chest, cartridges were decorated with silver pieces. The Chokha is long or short. The longer version of Chokha was born in the cool regions of Ciscaucus, particularly in Cherkesia and Kabardo. Hence, this type of Chokha was referred to with its Russian name Cherkezka through Ciscaucasia and was mostly popular in the west part of Georgia. And one more detail: Because the Chokha is tight on the waist according to Georgian women’s opinion “a man who still has a waist for the Chokha is in a good physical shape” In this particular type of Chokha, the pockets were sewn on the chest, instead of Samasre and sleeves were widening at the wrist and thus were worn turned up.


To Georgia


Spring 2012



Georgian Artifacts Colkhian Axe Colkhian Axes are the most significant discovery and similtaneously elegant artifacts in the Archeological history of the Bronze Age. This statement sounds like subjective and presumptuous, but it has emotional flare and at the same time special basis. Colkhian axe is a very comfortable and easy to use. Blacksmiths of different periods tried to develop forms of an axe. It had been transformed for several times but in 1st -2nd millennia BC was developed into its final shape and had not been changed yet. All Colkhian battleaxes were decorated with symbols of animals and geometrical figures. The most popular symbols were deer and dogs which must have defined the tribes of owners. Axes were decorated with graphical symbols and apart from the battle functions carried worshiping significance as well. When discussing the shapes of the Colkhian axe it must be underlined that ancient craftsmen had exhausted the properties of bronze as a material. If you look closely, you can see that the waist of the axe is wider, it is not the design decision of smiths, they tried to raise the coefficient of flexibility to avoid bending of Colkhian axe. The point of fixation of an axe on a helve is also notable. The conic loop is located on a helve, you cannot attach a cleaver on a helve and at the same it (a helve) enters into a loop from top and by this way a clear cannot fallout during the battle. This technical tradition of fixation is still in use in Georgia. Under the Russian Empire the axes were brought from Russia with other manufacturing goods to Georgia. Georgian peasants named such axes Russian axes. Russian axes were purchased by peasants and after some time they were forged according to Georgian tradition. Colkhian Axes have universal properties for battles. You can cause the cutting strikes by this tool and at the same time the size and shape of an axe is comfortable for blocking and disarming of a rival… Well balanced weight and shape of an axe, with some degree of aero dynamical features allows it’s shooting.Area of popularization of axes was quite large: the North Caucasus, northern and eastern coast of the Black Sea. The some samples were found in Ural, but molding patterns for Colkhian axes were discovered only on the territory of Georgia. Based on analysis of archeologists it was decided that the homeland of axes was Colchis. It was named Colchian Axe in 30’s, and it reached us with this name to the present days.


Georgian Karakalans Even to the Georgians, the term “Karakalan” sounds strange. It’s a composite of two Turkish words: “kara”, which means black and “kalan”- a shield. “Karakalan” is a nickname of the Khevsurs, inhabitants of the Georgian mountainous Khevsureti region, applied to them by their enemies because of their shields. A Khevsurian shield is a unique, ancient defensive weapon described by the ancient Greeks. It is unique for it has nearly preserved its original shape in two millennia since its creation. The Khevsurian shield is small (exactly 30cm in diameter) and round. The Khevsurs believe that its dimensions make it easy to carry and apply. It is a sheet non-ornamented flat weapon with no legends on it and that’s what makes it different from the other kinds of shield. The iron surface is supported by a wooden base with a buffalo skin underneath. First a sheet steel cross is placed on the base, then a diamondshaped iron sheet, with a walnut size iron or copper hemisphere called the “dome apple“ is fixed to it. Both the cross and the diamond are fit into two flat iron rings and, finally, the artifact is forged to the base with clasps. As said above, the shield has a furred buffalo skin from the reverse side and a felt cushion to protect a hand from a hard blow. Recent experiments showed that the shield can protect a hand even from a hammer hit. Finally, the shield was sooted. The soot made the fighters dressed in black and their shields completely invisible at night. However, to the Khevsurs the shield was not merely a defensive but an offensive weapon. It was used as a brass knuckles, making circular movements. A Khevsur would hit the enemy with it causing a shock. It was by their black shields that the Khevsurs stood out among the other Georgian troops. At their sight, the enemy fighters would warn one another: “Karakalan . Karakalan”.

Spring 2012



“High tech” of the Bronze Age At the beginning of the 20 th century, Trialeti, the region of Georgia was attracted by Georgian archeologists. It was considered that this area should be the heart of Georgian culture, which was proved by the archeological expeditions. Many unknown artifacts were discovered, among them the most notable were two wine bowls (silver and gold). Scientists dated the discovery as the first part of the second millennium B.C. The bowls are the exceptional masterworks of art. Besides this fact the scenes of ritual procession with a holy vessel are forged on the chalice. (It is seen that the chalice was used in such cases. Nowadays we can see rather like religious rite in Mtianeti, it is a region in eastern Georgia. However, it should be noted that it was adapted to Christianity). The scenes from pagan rite are seen very rarely on Georgian artifacts. This chalice and remains of irreligious masterpieces have been saved from Georgian missionaries by burring in the land thousand years before. The convex chalice with flat bottom consists of two parts. The lower frieze pictures deer and stags heading to the same direction and they seem to be having their mating season. Above them, on the second frieze, there are twenty-two men in masks, holding tall chalices in their hands, as if striving to the supreme deity. The men are wearing national clothes - short jackets (called kulajas) and pointed shoes. The supreme deity is sitting in the armchair holding the chalice. In front of him, there is a tall vessel and animals on both sides. Beyond the deity, there is a tree of life - a universal religious symbol of people in all times. Among many different opinions about the cult and religious function of the Trialeti chalice, the assumption that we deal with the ritual of sacrificing the holy drink to the supreme deity, dominates over others. Another masterpiece is the gold bowl, which was not forged with religious scenes. If we observe the embellishment of the bowl, we can make a decision that the owner was the person of a high society, maybe the politician at that time of this region. The bowl is embellished with 135 precious stones: Lapis lazuli, Amber, Agate, Jet etc. The forge worker had not forgotten about the bottom of the bowl, decorated with cross-shaped stones and at the same time he applied the high technology: the bowl was made of one sheet of gold which was folded and forged in several times until it became universal shape and after this time the maker began to embellish it. The bowl is exactly “High tech” of that time and it is impossible to create it nowadays. The group of artists had tried to make it, but the experiment ended unsuccessfully; the new bowl was not as beautiful as the specimen was. Both bowls are reposited in the Golden Treasure of the Georgian National Museum.

MODI To Georgia

Five Things YOU Should Know About Georgia By the Artist and Designer Oleg Timchenko

Fantastic Nature

Even that I was born in Georgia and have never left it ever since, I can’t help admiring its marvelous nature each time I go outside Tbilisi. It is amazing that you can find such a variety of different sights in a tiny country.

Tbilisi as it is.... I fell in love with my native town when studying at the Academy of Fine Arts. That was where I met my friend who was a foreigner. He was an alien in Tbilisi and his vision of it was a lot different from mine so he unveiled habitual sights for me and made them special. I had a feeling that I discovered quite a new wonderful city where I have never been before.

MODI To Georgia

Ancient Culture

Georgian Feasts


When staying in Georgia it is impossible not to feel the cultural spirit of the country. It is everywhere- in the atmosphere, people, architecture. The perfect place to feel it is the Old Tbilisi district- it is in stunning Cathedrals, Castles, and churches and also in ancient ruins and narrow cobble-stone roads. Besides you can always visit numerous art galleries and museums to penetrate deeper into the Georgian culture and of course enjoy Pirosmani`s masterpieces.

Georgian Feast is an old ritual dating back to the dawn of the country. It is a part of lush folklore culture of Georgia rich in songs and dances. If you happen to take part in it even once you will remember it forever.

It is unforgettable. You easily make friends here and what’s more real friends. It is the main reason for which you leave this country with a broken heart and why you want to return over and over again. As for Georgian women they are also the reason why you are eager to come back and enjoy their hospitality, manners and beauty. It is worth mentioning that some foreigners were so much impressed by them that they married and took them away to their homes.


The Unique Georgian Alphabet

Buba Kudava


he alphabet – the apex of the written language and one of the wonderful creations of the human mind testifies to an advanced level evolution of intellect. Beginning from the Phoenician alphabet, the alphabetic system, i.e. the totality of graphemes representing phonemes has been developing within various cultures for centuries. The Georgian alphabet, one of the most ancient and refined systems of the written language stands out clearly among the others. The configuration of the Georgian letters differs a lot from that of the other languages, which makes it unique. There are multiple data and assumptions regarding the origin and initial shape of the Georgian alphabet. Some scholars trace it back to the Phoenician, Aramaean, or Greek alphabets, while the others believe that it originated in the preor post-Christian era. The information contained in the ancient Greek and Roman sources testify that the Georgians or Kolkhs had their own alphabet before the spread of Christianity (the historians of Pergamon (II c.) and Rhodes (IV c.) etc.). Leonti Mroveli, the Georgian historian of XI c. attributes the formation of the Georgian statehood and the alphabet to King Parnavaz (III B.C.). The oldest epigraphs and palimpsest made in the Georgian language date back to IV-V cc. and V-VIII cc. (respectively). “The Martyrdom of Shushanik”


To Georgia


(V A.D.), the most ancient literary creation to date makes us think that there should have been a welldeveloped script theretofore. The most ancient writings available have been dated with V c. A.D. An inscription on a wall of the cathedral in Bolnisi (approx. 60km from the capital Tbilisi), which up until the 1950’s had been considered the most ancient, was dated with 493-494 A.D. In 1952-1953, Virgilio Corbo, the Italian archeologist discovered the ruins of a Georgian monastery, with three Georgian inscriptions in the Palestine, namely, the desert of Judah, close to Bethlehem. Two of the inscriptions were dated with 428-432 or six decades earlier than it had been believed before. A little later, at the end of the XX century, an archeological expedition exploring the remains of a town of Nekresi (Kakheti region, the surroundings of the town of Kvareli) discovered the Georgian inscriptions of presumably pre-Christian era. Several inscriptions in the ancient Greek were ungrounded in the excavations under way in Mtskheta-Armazi in the 1940’s. Several characters of an unfamiliar language were discovered, too. Mr. Pavle Ingorokva, the Georgian linguist presumed that those should be the letters of Asomtavruli, the ancient Georgian alphabet. For centuries, the configuration of the Georgian letters has changed to finally shape out into the three main types: Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri, Mkhedruli

Spring 2012


MAIN STORY each with its own graphic style. Asomtavruli paved the way to Nuskhuri, which on its part gave birth to Mkhedruli. Asomtavruli – the name “Asomtavruli” was given to that kind of alphabet after the capital letters appeared in the titles and initials occurring in the texts written in the Nuskhuri alphabet. Because of the round configuration of its letters, Asomtavruli the oldest Georgian alphabet is also referred to as circular. The stele of Davati (367), the Bakur and Gri-ormizid inscription dated with 433 discovered in Palestine, the one of 493-494 found in the Sioni cathedral in the town of Bolnisi, as well as the inscriptions made in the Monastery of the Cross in the town of Mtskheta (VI-VII cc.) are believed to be the earliest specimen of the Asomtavruli alphabet. Meanwhile, the oldest Georgian texts to date are the pages of palimpsest of V-VIII cc. and the KHlectionary of the VII century.


To Georgia


Asomtavruli The name “Asomtavruli� was given to that kind of alphabet after the capital letters appeared in the titles and initials occurring in the texts written in the Nuskhuri alphabet. Because of the round configuration of its letters, Asomtavruli the oldest Georgian alphabet is also referred to as circular. The stele of Davati (367), the Bakur and Gri-ormizid inscription dated with 433 discovered in Palestine, the one of 493-494 found in the Sioni cathedral in the town of Bolnisi, as well as the inscriptions made in the Monastery of the Cross in the town of Mtskheta (VI-VII cc.) are believed to be the earliest specimen of the Asomtavruli alphabet. Meanwhile, the oldest Georgian texts to date are the pages of palimpsest of V-VIII cc. and the KH- lectionary of the VII century.

Spring 2012



Nuskhuri The Nuskhuri alphabet evolved from Asomtavruli. The first such type occurs in the testament of the Sinai Liturgy Readings dated with 864. Up until XI century, the Nuskhuri alphabet had prevailed in lowercase letters, while beginning from XII century, the entire manuscripts started to be made in it. It is believed that in terms its essence as against the form, the Georgian Nuskhuri alphabet had been influenced by the Greek lowercase letters. Not infrequently, the Asomtavruli and Nuskhuri alphabets are jointly called “Khutsuri” since it was the clergy (“Khuts” in Georgian) that most often employed them.


To Georgia


Mkhedruli “Mkhedruli” (martial in Georgian) is the name of the modern Georgian alphabet finally shaped out in XVII century, with the manuscripts written in it as early as X century, though. The oldest text written in the Mkhedruli alphabet is the Book of Endowment King Bagrat IV donated to the Shio Mgvime Monastery in 1058. The initial type of Mkhedruli used to be called Mdivanmtsignobruli (“Mdivan-Mtsignobari” is the old Georgian word for “clerk”). Later it became widely employed by merchants, the military etc. The configuration of the letters is also vertical, with the circular contours making a single profile. Only a few letters of the modern Georgian alphabet (ს, ძ, მ) have preserved their initial Asomtavruli shape, with all the others transformed thoroughly. Up until XVIII century, similarly to the European alphabets (Greek, Armenian, Slavic-Cyrillic), the letters had been used for figures. The Arabic characters appeared in Georgia as early as X century to become widespread much later. Understandingly, the origins of the Georgian alphabet are retraceable in Asomtavruli, a unique, full-fledged graphic system standing apart from all the others since not a single letter thereof is an imitation of its foreign counterpart or the result of the graphic transformation of another Georgian character. In the Georgian language, the graphics had been precedent, which means that the graphic representation of the letters had preceded their arrangement in the alphabetic order presumably simultaneously with the creation of graphemes. The graphics of Asomtavruli rely on a uniform base and definite guidelines. Except for the letter “Jan”, the configuration of all the others relies on a single principle. A circle and a straight line are at the core of the Georgian graphic system, with each character placed within a quadrangle and the elements of the letters proportionate to one another. As said before, the graphics of the letter “Jan” is the only exception with its origins traceable to Christianity. The letter shaped out as a result of crossing the earlier creations: letters “In” and “Qan” and thus symbolizes the crucifix. It is noteworthy that the evolutional stages of the graphics of the Georgian alphabet: Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli are similar in terms of the artistic style, each created as a result of the graphic transformation of the characters of the predecessor. As time passed, the changes in the configuration of the letters largely brought about by the need of rapid writing (cursive) paved way for the next

stage alphabet. The demand for books increased steadily, so they had to be written as quickly as possible. Thus, the letters of Asomtavruli similar in height required several movements of a hand and stood side-by-side, while the next stage Nuskhuri alphabet is characterized by the quadrilinear system of ornate lettering made up of the different height, right-inclined angular letters. Meanwhile, in Mkhedruli alphabet, its successor, the vertically inclined letters are once again placed within the quadrilinear system, with each one of them written by a single movement of a hand. The characters of the stringent monumental Georgian alphabet rely on a quadrangle and a rare correlation between the parts of the graphemes. There used to be 38 letters in the old Georgian alphabet but as a result of the linguistic reform in XIX century, five of those were put out of use, with the modern Georgian alphabet of 33 letters consisting of 28 consonants and 5 vowels fully corresponding to the sounds of the language. From V century all across XIX century, a large number of books and documents had been written or rewritten by scribes. As is well known, copying used to be a trade.

Spring 2012



Ashugi Sayat-Nova



To Georgia


The Georgian Alphabet with Prayers� was the first Georgian book printed in Rome in 1629. The book printed in the Mkhedruli alphabet contained the prayers, persuasion, Ten Commandments, hymns celebrating the Virgin in the Georgian and Latin with the Georgian transcription. The print for the book had been created by Mr. Nikoloz Cholokashvili, alias Nicephorus Irbach, appointed the ambassador in Italy by Teimuraz I, King of the eastern Georgian State of Kakheti. The first printing house named after King Vakhtang VI, its founder opened in Tbilisi in 1708-1709. The printers used the Georgian Khutsuri and Mkhedruli, as well as the Greek and Latin alphabets and typed in black and red. The books were illustrated with engravings. The first book to be printed there was the New Testament. A little later another printing house named after King Erekle II opened in Tbilisi (1749-1802). It was there that most of the original Georgian literature was printed. The books had been written or rewritten on the parchment, specially treated leather. A single book required the skins of over one hundred sheep or calves, so in order to economize the Georgians employed a peculiar system of acronyms. The paper appearing in Georgia XI century gradually replaced the parchment. However, up until XVIII century, some of the books had still been written on it. It had taken the humanity quite a while to create a streamlined, purely phonetic alphabet. The phonemes, the structure and the overall peculiarities of a language are translated into its alphabet and the extent to which it occurs testifies to the evolution level of the thereof. The alphabetic written language created by the Phoenicians is characterized by the correspondence of a graphic sign corresponds to a separate sound. The Phoenician script gave birth to the Greek, in the West and SemiticAramaean alphabet in the East. In the East, the prevalent direction of writing was and still is from the right to the left, while in the West, namely in Greece, the reverse direction became established. Although, similarly to the Greek alphabet the letters in the Georgian Asomtavruli script were inclined to the right, they differed drastically in terms of the graphics. There are fourteen alphabets in the modern world: the Chinese, Greek, Latin, Hebraic, Georgian, Syrian, Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Japanese, Slavic-Cyrillic, Indian, Mongolian and Korean. There are several alphabetic systems used in several languages. Most of the European states use the letters originating from the Latin alphabet, while it is only in Georgia that the Georgian one is used. Originally, the Chinese script had been made up of pictograms later transformed into the hieroglyphs. Vowels first appeared in the Greek alphabet. The Slavic alphabet was created by Cyril, a Greek man, hence its name Slavic-Cyrillic. The prints used in the modern Georgian publications are based on the Mkhedruli alphabet, while the Georgian alphabet in the computer systems has been adapted with the Unicode standard, with the Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli acknowledged as separate alphabets. They all have been assigned the four digit codes. Today, the most common Georgian fonts are BPG, Sylfaen etc. Spring 2012




To Georgia


National Centre of Manuscripts

1/3 Merab Alexidze Street, 0193 Tbilisi, Georgia Tel.: (995 322) 36 41 85 Fax: (995 322) 36 32 41


To Georgia

Making Georgia

Ekvtime Takaishvili Keeper of The Georgian Treasury

“As a rule, in myths and fairy tales, the treasures are protected by giants and typhoons. In our days, the treasures of Georgia were kept by a little miserable old man, who did it more successfully than giants and typhoons can.� These words of Georgian writer Lasha Tabukashvili, refer to Ekvtime Takaishvili, a prominent Georgian historian and archaeologist best remembered for his heroic deed of protecting the Georgian national treasury. Takaishvili, one of the founders of Tbilisi State University, followed the Georgian government in French exile (after the Bolshevik Russia invaded the country in 1921), taking numerous pieces of precious Georgian material culture with him to Europe. For more than twenty years, despite extreme economic hardship and numerous attempts by various European museums to purchase portions of the treasury, Takaishvili never sold a single piece of the priceless collection. Isn 1945 he was able to bring the treasury back to Georgia.

Making Georgia

Nino Natroshvili


ar broke on February 11, 1921, from the Armenian side. On February 15, the 11th Red Army crossed the Azerbaijani Border. The enemy troops attacked from Daryal Pass and Sotchi directions, as well. Stubborn fights were taking place at the entrance of Tbilisi city; the Georgian Army even had some success, capturing 1600 Russian soldiers and some ammunition. For February 18-19, situation on battlefields changed, the Capital fell in panic. Head of the Government called Ekvtime Takaishvili and ordered to collect and transport precious belongings of the Georgian museums to Kutaisi. For that time, Ekvtime Takaishvili is the Founder and Chairman of the Historic and Ethnographic Society, the deputy chairman of the Founder Meeting (Parliament) from National-Democratic Party, University Professor, Archeologist, Collector and Guard of antiquities, numismatist; He is the one, who began scientific research of the Georgian churches and recording of relevant data. He knows what is kept in each museum or the private collections. The biggest part of museum treasury is collected, purchased and even “deducted” by him. His method is simple: when he runs into something precious and valuable in one’s family collection and the owner is not willing to sell it or otherwise transfer it to the museum, Ekvtime takes the rarity for scientific research and lately publishes the letter of gratitude praising the generosity of the owner gifting the priceless antiquity to the museum. Everyone knows about this “method”, but nobody can resist his reputation. As he used to say, he was searching for antiquities like a hound-dog. So if there is anybody, who deserves to be the keeper of the treasury, Ekvtime is a first to be mentioned. But he is 58 already and cripple – childhood trauma left him lame. Anyway, no one considers the possibility of a long journey. Everybody thinks that the success of the Bolshevik’s is temporary, so the plan is to take the treasury to Kutaisi until the Red Army is defeated. The museum workers spent the night collecting the artifacts. At 8 am the precious property – 37 boxes and 18 paintings, packed and sealed - was taken to the railway station. The train loaded with the treasury departed for Kutaisi at 11 o’clock, accompanied by the guard and supervisor. Thus, began the Glorious Odyssey of the Georgian Treasure. On 24th of February, both the Parliament and the Government, headed to Kutaisi. Tbilisi was para-


To Georgia

Making Georgia

Making Georgia lyzed. Everyone fell in turmoil. Ekvtime, with his personal belongings reached the railway station on a garbage cart. His spouse, Nino Poltoratskaya walked all the road to the station. In Kutaisi, the new items were added to the collection brought from Tbilisi, including the Khobi necklace cross of Queen Tamar, properties and library of Likani and Borjomi Romanov Palaces, antiquities from Gelati Monastery, etc. The treasury now consisted of 236 boxes, 12 bags and one basket.

and serve the motherland. But now there is no time to think whether to leave Georgia, or not. The ship contains the part of his homeland. Both parts, the one ready for departure and the other, which is to be left, are equally precious for him. Yet, someone should definitely look after the treasure. No one knows how long the exile may last and there is nobody to give him an advice. So he follows up his destiny, or, to say more precisely, the treasure becomes his destiny.

In the beginning of March, the Red Army reached Kutaisi. It was decided to move the treasure to Batumi. Ekvtime and his men spent the whole night in Kutaisi Treasury, counting and taking everything to the station. For practical reasons the treasure was divided into small parts. Each pallet was marked with a special card, indicating number of sent items. But in the rush one box got lost. Ekvtime checked the list and found that the missing box contained the most precious church items; shocked, he began searching desperately, but in vain; he almost decided not to leave, but there was no time left, only few minutes; minutes for running away and saving the rest of the treasure. The Red Army was almost there, on the edge of the town. Hopelessly he stepped in the train. In a few hours they reached Batumi.

They arrived at the port one hour earlier, than agreed. Yet, “Ernest Renan” was quite away, in the open sea. Minister Chevalier betrayed them. Now Ekvtime felt completely desperate, the sea was taking away everything, so carefully collected by his ancestors; everything, which survived centuries. The Treasure of Georgia, including icons faced in gold, precious jewelry, the most valuable manuscripts, treasure of Dadiani Palace of Zugdidi, Gelati and Martvili Monasteries, Property of Tbilisi and Borjomi Palaces, sailed away from the Homeland in March 11, 1921.

only good thing was that they found the box, which was deemed lost. Abel Chevalier – Plenipotentiary Minister of France in Transcaucasia, promised Takaishvili, his spouse and the Deputy Minister of Finance Josef Eligulashvili to take them on board and sail to Istanbul.

on 10th of April. The treasure, under the guards of Senegal Regiment was conveyed to the Marseille Bank Depository. 2500 Franks guaranteed the safety of the treasure for a year. The situation stabilized.

THE TREASURE OF GEORGIA, attempt to catch up INCLUDING ICONS FACED IN The the ship by a boat failed. the only way left was to GOLD, PRECIOUS JEWELRY, So, return to Batumi and hire a small, private ship for THE MOST VALUABLE a chase. The weather was merciless, the waves rollMANUSCRIPTS, TREASURE OF ing over their heads. The captain warned the passenthat there was a little DADIANI PALACE OF ZUGDIDI, gers chance to survive. Being in danger, Ekvtime worries The destiny of the CounGELATI AND MARTVILI for “Ernest Renan”, what if try was clear. France gave ship crashes… Finally, to the Menshevik GovMONASTERIES, PROPERTY the on the 14th, they reach Isernment-in-exile polititanbul. “Ernest Renan” is cal asylum. The treasure already there. For the reagoes with them. It took OF TBILISI AND BORJOMI sons of safety, Ekvtime and four days to move the companions repacked treasure from the train PALACES, SAILED AWAY FROM his the treasure. At last, 249 to the sea-port, where it boxes were loaded on Bienwas loaded on the French Cruiser, “Ernest Renan”. THE HOMELAND IN MARCH 11, Hoa, heading to Marseille. Ekvtime spent all those They arrived in Marseille days in the train. The 1921.

Leaving the homeland was hard to Ekvtime. Many years ago, before going abroad for higher education, he and his friends gave a promise to return


To Georgia

The Takaishvilis moved to Paris, but after a while settled in Leuville Chateaux, where the Menshevik Government bought the estate. Soon after arrival, Ekvtime resumed his scientific researches. Being

Disco, Akhalgori Collection, 4th century BC The Prior’s Cross, Bichvinta, 1565 Tondo, Gelati, 11th Century The Cross of King Tamar, 12th century

Making Georgia

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Making Georgia


To Georgia

Making Georgia the member of Numismatists’ Society and Société Asiatique, he continued his works on materials brought from Georgia, publishing the results of his studies and giving public lectures. Perhaps, he hoped that their stay in France would not last long, so he tried to research everything connected with Georgia. The first big temptation appeared not very long after the treasure was moved to France. Few years earlier, one of the New York Museums purchased the enamel medallions stolen from the Georgian icons. So they knew perfectly well about the price and uniqueness of the Georgian Treasure. Never

the treasure belongs to the Georgian Nation not to the Government, so they have no right to manage it at their will. Saying nothing about the fact that keeping the trusted treasure untouched is a matter of honor. The crown of the collection was so-called “Treasure of Akhalgori”, consisting of the golden jewelry and other antiquities from the burial place of the V century BC, discovered by peasants in Ksani Gorge, in 1908. Ekvtime personally searched for the items, collected them and gifted to the museum. The items of this collection appeared to be of a very special interest to the British Museum. The


Young Ekvtime with his wife, father and children.

having chance to see the items brought to France, the director of the museum personally visited the Chairman of the Georgian Government-in-exile and being well aware of the difficult conditions and poverty of the Georgians, made quite impressive offer about purchasing of other enamel medallions. The Government never made their decision. Ekvtime, who heard about the negotiation, was uncompromised – the treasure could not be sold, neither partially, nor as a whole. The refuse did not make the American to step back and he made his next move: according to the new proposal the Government-in-exile could receive large loan for the right to purchase the treasure in case of selling. Some members of the government were attracted by this offer, as it seemed like receiving of money for absolutely nothing. And again Ekvtime rejected the proposal. His argument was simple: the Government-in-exile will never be able to return the huge loan and when the time comes, they will be urged to sell the treasure to cover it. And besides,

Georgians faced the temptation to receive “easy” money, once again. The offer also included publishing the catalogues. And once again, Ekvtime opposed the compatriots. He didn’t even allow taking the photos of the items. The next danger was much more serious. The daughter of the last prince of Samegrelo Niko Dadiani, widow of Graf Obolenski – Salome Dadiani, requested the property of her ancestors. As it occurred the princess had a lot of supporters. It seemed that the speculations would never end. But in the early 1930s, Takaishvili won a lawsuit against Salome Obolenskaya. His personal life was not easy one to say the least. The family experienced extreme economic hardship. It was not unusual that the only food they could afford was the milk of a goat he and his wife had. Nevertheless, they never considered the possibility to sell any item neither from the state, nor

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Making Georgia from the private collection, although he owned a wonderful numismatic collection and could easily enrich. Ekvtime was 31 years old, when he got married on 10 years younger, Nino Poltoratskaya. The Poltoratskis, of the Polish origin, migrated to Georgia in the first half of XIX century. The musical education received in younger years proved to be quite useful in Paris; Nino played the piano in cinemas, earning some money for living. But that did not last long. One day Nino fell ill and never recovered. For twenty months Ekvtime did what he could to save her life, but in vain. After so much troubles and sufferings, she met her time peacefully, having her beloved husband at her deathbed. Now, he is completely alone, penniless, far from the homeland. “I feel like a fish without water”, writes he to a friend. At the same time he sends a little card to the neighbor, saying: “Please, do me a

of the Treasure, thereby taking full responsibility before the Museums and the whole Georgia.Thus begins the new stage of struggles. In his address to the French Government Takaishvili insists: “This treasure was in the possession of neither the Georgian Government, nor even the Russian Empire; this treasure is from the private collections and museums, the government was just responsible for its safe keeping and now it must be returned to the legal owners”. At the same time he asks Georgia to take care of the treasure left without patronage. But all the reports and letters can’t change the situation; all he gains is the books from Borjomi Library. German occupation throws Ekvtime in continuous fear and stress. Accusation in disloyalty to the Germans almost cast him a life. But he could assure the men searching his place that he was a peacful archeologist and didn’t even belong to the socialist party. Some of the Georgians considered Hitler as

At the arrival, Ekvtime, with tears in his eyes, tells Petre Sharia: “Now I can say that, I fulfilled my duty. And I have no right to be ungrateful to my fate”; When 82 years old man, stepped out of the plane, he looked up in the sky and began to pray. Then knelt down slowly, took the land in his hand and kissed. favor and share with me some food from your daily ration, on my hand I promise to pay relevantly.” Yet, what worries him above all is the treasure and his new, unpublished works. 1933 brings a new danger to the treasure. The French Court discovers that according to the nonaggression pact between France and the Soviet Union annulled the legitimacy of the Georgian Government-in-Exile. The Georgian embassy in Paris was abolished and transformed into the “Georgian Office”. The treasury passed into the possession of the French state. The Georgian Treasure goes to Monsieur Pierre Godon, who already was keeping the property, left by Tsarist Russia, in France. All is lost, but Takaishvili doesn’t retreat, although all he can do is to urge the annulled government to appoint him the Guard and Supervisor


To Georgia

liberator and tried to attract Fascists with Georgia. Thus, they informed Occupation Forces about precious treasure, kept in France. Godon took the side of the Georgians and didn’t disclose the location of the treasure. Professor Zurab Avalishvili, being in Germany at that time, also assured Fascists that the treasure was important only for Georgia and had no other value at all. Now, it was dangerous to leave the treasure on the place, indicated in the documents. Godon, together with some Georgians, at his own life risk, took the boxes from the bank to the basement of the National Library of Versailles and blocked up the door with stones. After the liberation of France the Soviet Embassy was opened in Paris. Treasure struggles passed over another stage. In November of 1944, Ekvtime Takaishvili met the Soviet Ambassador – A. Bogo-

Old Ekvtime Takaisvili.

Making Georgia

molov. At the request of the Ambassador, Takaishvili wrote a detailed report to the Head of the Acting French Government, General De Gaulle. In December, De Gaulle was planning to visit Moscow for concluding the agreement. Tall Frenchman knew that Stalin was Georgian and thus was personally interested in the Georgian treasure. So he finalized the request of the Georgian émigré with ultimate resolution – “To be returned immediately”! So, Quarter century Odyssey of the Georgian treasure was crawling to its happy ending. Ekvtime Takaishvili began to repack and sort the treasure, immediately; Soviet Government of Georgia sent two Georgian scientists in Paris – Shalva Amiranashvili and Petre Sharia (simultaneously, CC secretary). Shalva Amiranashvili made the inventory of the collection. Every item and document was kept, nothing was missed. They carefully packed everything in boxes, 44 in total. “Our survival is miracle, real miracle! We passed through so many troubles and sometimes I thought I lost everything, especially after beginning of the War...” – Ekvtime can’t even believe that everything is over. When asked whether he wishes to return to Geor-

gia, he gives his prompt answer - “I wish my bones to rest in my home land”. The approval from Moscow comes three days later. Ekvtime shyly tells young colleagues that he has no clothes to appear in Georgia. Petre Sharia was deeply astonished and surprised: “These words were uttered by the person, who owned so precious and valuable treasure, in the course of 23 years!” Of course, he was dressed relevantly and in April 5, 1945, left Paris. The War wasn’t finished yet, so for more safety, they took longer way and arrived in Tbilisi, on the 11th April. It took two airplanes to transport the treasure. At the arrival, Ekvtime, with tears in his eyes, tells Petre Sharia,: “Now I can say that, I fulfilled my duty. And I have no right to be ungrateful to my fate”; When 82 years old man, stepped out of the plane, he looked up in the sky and began to pray. Then knelt down slowly, took the land in his hand and kissed.

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To Georgia


Chateau Leuville

More Than Just Geography The notion motherland is more than just a geography, local district, environment perceived with ears and eyes. Sometimes, the motherland, or some positive noble energy can shift, displace and cross geographical borders. This was how Georgian Atony, Georgian Jerusalem, Georgian Sinai...and later...Georgian Leuville were created.

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Authors: Esma Mania / Shorena Murusidze


European road May 26 1918 paves a way to the new era in the history of Georgia. Soon afterwards, Georgia was divided in two parts. Term and direction of separation of one part from the geographical Georgia was obscure and unclear, while the second one remained within a country so distant from its natural road of development. This later was a country with a history of “bloody” years and “public experiments” befallen like a storm. France is considered a symbol of freedom – Georgian immigrants chose this very country. Part of Georgians survived the soviet system here. The French shelter changed a lot, saved a lot in terms of both the values common to all mankind and specific humanitarian “kindness”. This was a kind will that physically and consciously saved the immigrants. European orientation of the Georgian immigrant government was always proportionate to that of the anti-soviet mood. Live transmission of radio “Freedom”, on the day of 50th anniversary of restoration of Georgian independence, presented Commander-in-chief of that time, a 95-year old General Giorgi Kvinitadze, who says: “Georgia and Georgians considering their traditions, customs and state arrangement is a European, not an Asian country. We should compare the European and Asian styles of state arrangements: What we call Federalism never existed in Asia and Russia; though federalism in Georgia is so similar to the one in Europe”. While conducting a detailed study of the XXth century Georgia, existence of Georgia immigrants was invaluable in researching the Georgian political and public opinion. These sources somehow combined the history of “two Georgias”, complemented to it, adjusted and made multilateral. Before the collapse of Soviet Union, these two “parallel Georgias”, due to the created politics, were less prominent; presently Leuville and its Georgian treasure has a unique value. “After settling in France, Paris, the Georgian national government under the guidance of Noe Jordania, decided to buy a small estate, which would have been a shelter for Georgian political refugees and then left under the ownership of Georgia upon its independence. With this purpose, on June 24 1922, on behalf of Nikoloz Jakheli and Benia Chkhvikvishvili, a small estate was purchased – Leuville “Georgian hearth” (Mamia Berishvili, chairman of Georgian Association). “Considering the advice of the French socialist Senator – Mr. Marius Moute, Jordania’s govern-


To Georgia

ment advocate and a friend, a legal document was developed. The owners declared themselves as Real Estate Civil Society (Rejeb Jordania) to save the estate including the Leuville palace from the soviet government. Chateau de Leuville (palace) was a hunting lodge earlier; the time of its construction is not known. It is quite old and big, a two-storey premise with a mansard and 15 apartments. Still existing enormous lime-trees are the remains of the park further transformed into fruit gardens and kitchen gardens by the Chateau residents. The main façade of the Chateau is on the East side. Chateau de Leuville has changed multiple owners. Apart from the palace, the yard also includes small houses. Leuville estate is fenced.

So good to feel Georgia near Paris, in only 20 minutes, built as a result of ancestors ‘work, thinking and merit. Graceful to be a host in a foreign country rather than a visitor. “The estate has not been changed outwardly”, writes Rejeb Jordania in his memories – the fence is still broken, the big iron lattice is still green painted, the secret entrance looks unattractive, here you can also find the lime-tree path”. This is how Leuville turned into “Second Georgia”... “April, year of 1928, Paris. We, the underneath signing: Noe Jordania, Akaki Chkhenkeli, Noe Ramishvili, Ekvtime Takaishvili, Evgeny Gegechkori, Samson Pirtskhalava and Konstantine Kandelaki – give this letter to the government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia to notify that 1: the estate in Leuville, France, in Sena and Uaz departments, being purchased at a public auction on February 10 1927 by the “Foyer Georgien”, members of which are the mentioned above people, is bought with the funds of the government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia and represents the property of the government of Democratic Republic of Georgia; in particular, the land with the size of about 5 hectares, a house, edifices, furniture, stock and everything presented in the estate. 2. The decree on the estate belongs to the Democratic government of Georgia”.



Chateau Georgians In the first years, majority of Georgians not only lived, but used to establish live and active societies in Leuville as well. On Sundays and at holidays, both Parisians and compatriots from afar used to join them. Several families permanently resided there, i.e. Goguadzes’, Eradzes’, Urotadzes’. Some of them were leading a solitary life. In reality, there were married. When leaving Georgia, they were thinking of a temporary exile and left their spouses and kids in their home country; though, as it appeared later, these people were doomed to remain in the Soviet Union forever. Soon, the palace was so overloaded that other Georgians settled down outside its walls, in Leuville”, writes Rejeb Jordania. The most important holidays for Georgian immigrants in Chateau de Leuville was May 26 and Orthodox Christmas. This was a time of their reunion and forgetting about their disagreements, arguments, political opposition. Remarkable events were celebrated in the common room – the Great Hall of Chateau, often attended by the Mayor of Leuville, members of local self-governing bodies and European guests. Colonel Tsereteli, known for his nobleness and hospitality, was a permanent toast maker “Tamada” of the dinners in Leuville. Records of radio “Freedom” include splendid materials on Leuville Georgians. The below speech extracted from the records “Golden Wedding” of Tamara and Ilia Takaishvilis, belongs to Mrs. Tamara Takaishvili: `...50 years ago, on Saturday, a wedding ceremony took place in the City Hall of Leuville. We hosted a dinner-party and invited local French. Noe Jordania, Ekvtime Takaishvili, Chkhenkeli, all our people and officials were present. The second day passed in the church, Greek Church, as our church did not exist then. Poor us, we managed to hire one autocar; all these Georgians came to Leuville. There was a dinner-party, dancing and fun. Among the guests were: Khomeriki, daughters of Gegechkori, those who are now mothers and grandmothers like me. Our parents contributed greatly’ to our understanding of homeland and reignited the love of Georgia in us. I was 12 years old when I arrived in France. I spent 12 years in my home country, and 60 years here. Everything inside us comes from our parents – those great people and our past. That’s why our children are Georgians”. Georgian printing-house was functioning in Leuville as well. In addition to newspapers and magazines, books were also being printed there, with an archive kept in a book-storage before shifting to Harvard.


To Georgia


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Immigrant metaphor Ekvtime Takaishvili’s letters sent to Georgia are full of severe pain: “What can I write about me, my mood does not change for good as I have no homeland, no books, no materials, no means. Nino was badly ill for 3 years. She is working hard to subsist us...I do my best to alleviate her work in domestic affairs. This is our daily routine, trivial things, fate. There is nothing to write about”. (To Irodion Songhulashvili, March 17, 1924) `We get information on unbearable situation in Georgia. Time after time, melancholy grasps my heart, I am getting old. I still could have worked a little, though have no materials here, neither could receive from Georgia..the situation is really tragic, feeling that your life-span expires and might not witness the printed version of the materials, collected with such pain and suffering..We are alive, though no soothing for the sad”. (To Niko Mari, 1922-25) If one sees the documentary “Ekvtime Takaishvili” by Rezo Tabukashvili, it is impossible not to recall the doomed ship (metaphor of immigrants’ life) in storm and raging waves heading for Constantinopole. The ship incorporated not only specific timespace Georgia, but its history, sacred items, culture and even its conscience. Later on, Leuville replaced this anxiety. Just like a ship, it also turned into metaphor. `Even our bones think about Georgia” Thanks to the donations, in 1938, Georgian immigrants bought a land for Georgian graveyard. Based on the French legislation, Leuville graveyard was designated for only local population, though as an exception, Georgians let to also bury those compatriots, who died in different places, in Leuville. `Forgive me and to my homeland, As I narrate the bitter story”. Say you saw an inscription on the boulder: “Even our bones think about Georgia”- Epitaph of the graveyard of Nikoloz (Koki) Dadiani (18791939) burried in Leuville. The graveyard, as a trustworthy factor of identity, played an enormous role in giving the lawful right to Georgians for Leuville. Based on the memorandum dated 2011, the process of Leuville transferring to Georgians began. Soon, it will be Georgia’s property and a culturalhistorical center of Georgia in Europe. So good to feel Georgia near Paris, in only 20 minutes, built as a result of ancestors ‘work, thinking and merit. Graceful to be a host in a foreign country rather than a visitor.


To Georgia


Spring 2012



Search for Nikala When XX was replacing XIX century, one could have said that Tbilisi was more alike of a bifacial Janus. Narrow streets and compact houses glued up high as swallows’ nests were part of the town were the old Asia was slumbering still - with Kintos (small merchants), Karachogels (city dwellers, merchants with peculiar black attire, chivalrous in behavior and famous for their light-heartedness), craft masters, their apprentices and Ustabashies (masters) who were freely strolling on the Turks square. This part of the town hosted carnivals, boxing competitions, rams’ wrestling and there was still a time when brides were taken to bathes for checking. So, but in the other part of the town, the younger Europe was chuckling, where the Italian opera was singing and the Belgian Alphonse Robi was building a funicular. While visited once, Lev Tolstoy noticed that “Tbilisi imitates St. Petersburg”. Hungarian artist Mihály Zichy hardly found some Georgian national attire for his illustrations because the city dwellers only wore them for very special occasions such as masquerades and carnivals. The most eminent building of the city was served as the seat of a ruler for the country of Caucasus and a two-headed eagle on a flag erected on a dome of the building was revealing that here was the Russian empire. The Zhdanevich brothers and their guest spent a whole day in strolling around outskirts of the city of Tbilisi. Cyril is 20 years old, Ilia is 18. The Zhdanevichs are the Polish descents; their grandfather was exiled to Georgia from Poland for participating in the 1863 uprising in Warsaw (Poland also was a part of the Russian empire once), their mother is Georgian, they both were born and raised in Tbilisi. As current students of St. Petersburg’ Academy of Arts, they went on vacation and brought their friend an artist Michele Le Dantiu with them, a man with the French origin. The brothers are enthralled by avant-garde tendencies of art but their friend Michele was expelled from the same Academy for his Cubic-Futuristic inclinations. They all are well aware of impressionistic or postimpressionistic art, innovations of Matisse and Picasso. And like Picasso, they are searching for “an artist who knows nothing”. The longer they walked, the more they saw and finally arrived at one of the drinking taverns located near by a railway station, a signboard of which had a picture of a cruiser “Varangian ” and had a name “Varangian” on it too. They got in, took places, ordered some food and started waiting. Le Dantiu’s attention is highly acute since too many things are out of ordinary for him, first he looked around the people then his look scrolled up the walls, saw some pictures, he made a closer look, stood up straight, approached one, then another and amusedly shouted to his friends: is not a modern Giotto, the real Giotto! The Zhdanevichs stood up too, approached him and could not hide amazement themselves. People in the tavern fell into silence too, all started staring at them. - Who is a painter of those? - Vah, don’t you know our house-painter? Those are his works. He painted all shops and taverns in outskirts of Tbilisi himself. - Where does he live? - Nobody knows. He is a nomad man and might have no room to live in. He is always on his way with a box of paints he carries them with. If you tell him what you have said here, he would be very happy. Search for Nikala! And the search began!


To Georgia


Nino Natroshvili



n 1912, Le Dantiu and the Zhdanevich brothers were searching for Nikala, than in 1916-17 the Georgian artists, in 20s - some other writers and painters, after which the Russian artists and art critics, than some others and more others. For nowadays, the world is in search of him… Nikoloz Firosmanashvili, his friends called him Nikala but as a painter he is known as Firosmani. People with the same surname Firosmanashvili are still living in the East part of Georgia namely in Qiziki district. A village Mirzaani is a homeland of Nikala. Each region and province is beautiful on its own but a landscape visible from the village as picturesque as snowy tops of Caucasus Mountains and lower land as the Alazani valley with blooming orchards and vineyards, leaves an indelible impression. Also grapevines grow on this land, good wheat and sunflowers too, there is livestock and sheep and people as well, are assiduous and hardworking. Collection of Firosmani’s biographical data started in the 20s of the previous century, however the exact facts have never been found. Therefore and most probably a legend added to another legend and so on. Aslan Firosmanashvili and Tekle Toklikishvili had three children, two daughters and one son Niko, who was born in 1862. Aslan passed away earlier and 8 years old Niko was given to his married sister who lived in Tbilisi just for the sake of her being less worried in a complete estrangement, so the young boy could have had a chance to be sent to a wealthy family to grow polite, learn how to read and write and become a man. Tightly built houses of Tbilisi, shops lined up along the streets, the roads paved by stones and phaetons running back and forth somehow made an impression on the boy, though he was missing a woven hut, vineyard and his mother – where is Mirzaani from here? – many times he used to ask this to his sister.. Tbilisi became fatal for Niko’s sister - cholera outbreak that was spread in the city took her life. Niko, when left alone did not return to his village and with a help from his brother-in-law found a servant job in the Armenian family of Kalantarovs “for food instead of pay”. They had a big family with three daughters and three sons, lived in a two-floor building and were wealthy enough. By that time, some other servants also were around the house, but Niko earned their utmost respect and was treated in a different way, he was trusted thoughtlessly to handle their family wealth in full and never checked him how much he spent on a shopping, they knew that Niko would have never assumed to lie. They taught him how to read and write, and when going to the opera he was following them, so to climb up to a gallery and listen carefully to the music. He had one bad habit though he was painting on walls using charcoals and pencils. This was a reason why women at home were complain-


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ICON ing about all the time, but they could not force him to give it up. While he was still a boy, whoever used to tip him, he was immediately rushing to buy pencils, or could give away all to beggars without thinking. When he was already a grown up, he used to collect children from surrounding places and tell them fairy tales meanwhile was drawing on papers the same heroes and monsters from the stories. Some whimsicalities he used to show as well. Sometimes, deeply in thoughts he, with a non-earthy impression on his face was walking fast from one corner of a yard to another. Oldest mistress was looking at him and frightfully saying it: ah, ah! why does he walk like this, would not he go mad, would he?! For his naivety, he was often called a blissful Nicolas. He was 24-25 years old when he left the family. The love was the reason for him to leave. Elizabeth Kalantarov was 10 years older than Niko and had one son, Solomon. Niko, fell in love with the young window and wrote a letter: “I know well that there is a difference in status between us but you, as the educated individual, would not pay much attention to this and except my proposing and marry me. I assure you this is my most sensitive and sincere love to you..” Of course, he was told no to his most sensitive and sincere love. It was true, that Tbilisian but nationally Armenian women were dreaming of marrying the Georgian men, but the Kalantarovs could not get that much lower to let the orphan, homeless and indigent man to become their son-in-law. Niko moved out to Elizabeth’s brother to live but hence left them completely though remained fond of Solomon and others as well. Niko decided to earn a living though a craftsmanship that he loved doing the most. He showed own works to a painter Bashinjagian who praised him and said “you are gifted but you still need to learn”. Niko had no means to finance his studies. Hence he entered into a companionship with Giorgi Zaziasvhili who was several years younger than Niko and who had the painting “inherited” from his father. They became companions and opened a small workshop where they used to paint signboards for taverns mainly. Their effort did not gain a win and companionship fell apart. Hence, Niko found a new friend, someone Gezarnidze: this initiative failed too. By that time, a trading was quite a popular and profitable occupation, and so, Niko took a small table placed it on a downhill of Vera, near by a ravine, with some boiled butter, milk, eggs and honey on it, covered it with a cloth and got himself into the business. Later, it happened to be less lucky for him and went on searching for some other jobs. He found a railway as a shelter where he began as a guardsman. He had a hut, a wooden bed, a table, two chairs and a salary. Sometimes he was painting. But once, for “an utter roughness” he almost got fired for one reason, his supervisor caught him painting during a work day who seized a draw-

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ICON ing and threw it away. Niko grabbed the supervisor’s throat; the anger took it long to pacify. After this, he was repositioned to a railroad-man. On 14 April, 1890 Niko Firosmanashvili underwent a medical examination. They wrote in a form: Georgian by nationality, 28 years old, fit for work. Sometimes he used work as a break-guard of a cargo train, sometimes as a railing foreman. Sometimes he lived in Tbilisi, sometimes in Mikhailov, sometimes in Elisavetopol. In windy, freezing or in a sizzling hot weather, he was standing at an open tambour of a cargo train, used to take the breaks off on a slope and putting them back on when a train was moving downhill. It was the awful job, better say, it was not his job at all, so an illness slowly but steadily crippled him. The salaries - not even 15 rubles he could get in total, some penalties were always a case when they deducted them for letting stowaways to free passage, or violating some other rules of conduct. He used to write one appeal letter after another, asking for a vacation, a treatment or money compensation. In 1894, he escaped from working on the railways and got himself back into the trading business on the same downhill of Vera. As soon as the business brought good fortune, he built a concrete house in the village for his sister, roofed it with tin, even bought a sewing-machine for the family and showered nieces with presents. While visited and stayed in Mirzaani, he even painted there and later left those with his relatives. He moved his small shop to “Iarmushka” and found a companion Dimitry Alugishvili, a man from his land, someone as a good acquaintance. The business went well; they always had some cheese, butter, boiled butter, yogurt, honey. Many cooks of socially privileged people of the town often were visiting to shop. The companion was running a business and always used to stand behind a counter, but Nikala was often hanging around a gate or in a stall, usually was painting there. He could not give up his strange habit of giving food to people on credit and secondly, he could spend money for no reason. Once, there were carts with donkeys passing by the shop with too much of a hay load, when Niko saw them he asked them to stop, he bought two carts and took the hay upstairs and spread it over his dwelling space. Dumbfounded Dimitry asked him: -What do you need that hay for? -I have to lie upon. Since I don’t go to the village that often, this would soothe the memories.. -Yes, it would soothed the shop too – “he is even ashamed of trading, takes no liberty to do it, and on top of that, knows nothing about it. He would wreck himself and drown me along” - Dimitry grumbled. This was the vivid recollection of Dimitry when in 1930 he was visited by one of the Georgian writers Giorgi Leonidze and asked him about Nikala. Some people blamed him for the direst conditions Niko fell into


To Georgia


when he was impoverished. As if Dimitry was cheating him. But he said everything in contrary as he was patronizing him, taking care of him, treating him, but for him Nikala was being “brain-hailed” and wayward and could not appreciate the generosities he made in abundance for him: - Niko had no family, and was not fond of those who had one: - once he told my wife, he added: - “go leave him, he is cheating on you..” Niko kept a different and tender relation with Dimintry’s beautiful and kind wife. He often brought for her some pomegranates from Ganja while still working for railways. He was often asking her to see his paintings: “come, have a look at my paintings”. He even painted her “Resting Georgian women with lechaki (Georgian national head-cover for women)” below he wrote as a confession: “look at poor me, longer life to the kindest people”. She had a different recollection of Nikala too: “what a charming man was he! Strong, stout as a sea reed.. a woman could not be as prettier as I remember him at his younger age. Rapture of his lips, his figure, neck, face all charming.. “Before they opened a shop, he wore a chokha (Georgian national men’s outer jacket), but after, he used dress in more Russian. Sometimes, he was restless, talking loud: here, St. George is standing be-

hind me with a whip and calling me: don’t get scared! a day after he was telling me: “see, now this brush is painting by itself.. ” That was the time, when he got into the flames of art and drawing – adds Dimitry.Together with those flames, he got himself into the flames of love. A French actress was on tour and came to Tbilisi. Her visit was neither written in newspapers nor posted on special big posters. She was singing and dancing in café Shantan. Many others have seen her, too many attended her performances, but none took her to their heart, they did not even bother to remember a name, to write anything about her or tell their grandchildren about it. As if that woman came from France or from somewhere else only for Niko, to amaze him, to fascinate him, to make him poor. He had never been the practical man in life, but when he was in love, it was worse. What was that when he fell in love with Kalantarov’s daughter? then too much of a care and attention towards the wife of Dimitry Alugishvili, now the French singer; who knew what was her past and how she could see her future. Niko was not interested in knowing all those; he saw her as a flawless beauty and brought her the present of a flawless value no power of a century could have ever

Spring 2012


ICON diminished it. Flowers, he bestowed not one, not few, but many. Still counting, some say that there were million roses; others state that there were two carts, but many more recall a street covered by flowers. What did the actress Margarita do? She left, both – the flowers and Niko’s heart. She did not even take a painting with her. People are saying so that she did not like it, she told someone that she better liked a photograph. His peculiar restlessness became more frequent. St. George was more regularly standing behind him with a whip in his hand and asking him: draw! Hard liqueur used to soothe his turbulent soul, giving him the energy to fight against the flames of art and draw in peace. Before when lived with the Kalantarovs, he never acknowledged any alcohol, but after, it became a single means of subsistence. After Michele Le Dentiu’s loud exclamation: is not the modern Giotto, the real Giotto! some days have passed. The Zhdanevich brothers and their friend looked throughout the railway station area in search of Nikala before someone on a Malakans street pointed his finger at: that is him, Nikala! He was tall, with the grayish and combed back hair. His worn-out and tired face had an aristocratic softness and calmness look; he wore a felt hat, a grey jacket, a thick, dirty and paint-smudged pants. He was standing and painting “dairy” on a shop’s signboard. Michele Le Dentiu told him: “you are the great master and your paintings are the marvels of art!” - Firosmani did not show his surprise, only eyes exuded warmth. Though he showed this indifference towards his unknown guests, they anyway invited him to a tavern to eat and talk. Those young people started to purchase Firosmani’s paintings. Some shop-keepers were happy to sell those with a hope that Niko could paint some more one day, some of them could not give up that easily. The boys gathered quite a collection and the Zhdanevichs arranged an exhibition at their house, which Firosmani did not attend. Le Dentiu took some of his drawings to Moscow, exhibited them. Local painters got interested; some even headed to Tbilisi and bought a few Niko’s oilcloths. Lately, one of the French newspapers published an article about the workmanship of the Georgian artist. Homeless, shelterless and strayed Niko still was painting his masterpieces for only a glass of Vodka. He worked passionately. Despite the loud and messy surroundings of taverns, he always had a calm and smiley face, as if he stood alone in a quiet room. Without knowing how to draw black contours on a wall, he always used paints and brushes to start painting. Shop-keepers, tavern-keepers, fishermen and yardkeepers were his regular company, they were giving him a living, but he never was recognized as equal, therefore they used to call him a count with an irony and mockingly, but they were feeling that he was somehow different. He always wore the old clothes; he preferred those to the new Karachogel pants and blouses, so he


To Georgia

would never have had a Bagdad (men’s big napkin) in his hand. One day, he complained to Ilia Zhdanevich: “they are always ruining my paintings. See, here is a rabbit painted. Why does it need to be there, who needs it? but whoever ordered it to me, asked me: please, for my sake, paint a rabbit and I did it – I need no fight”. Then he gave him an advice: “don’t listen to them, they are fools and don’t know much”. Niko, the poorest himself, was always moved to pity for those in need, he was searching for last pennies in his pockets to give away. No intentions he had ever had to become richer or the life he had to make it better. Small articles expressing admirations for Niko were published by some newspapers in the town that did not change anything for him. Among Georgians artists, Dimitry Shevardnadze was the first one who got interested in knowing Niko’s fate as an artist, because upon his arrival to Tbilisi from Munich he stumbled upon his drawings at the station. After some time, Niko was invited to attend a meeting of the Georgian Art Society; so, they talked to him, took a picture of him and gave him 10 Rubles. Nikala went and bought some oilcloths and paints which he used for painting a picture on a big canvas “Wedding of the Previous Georgia” and took it to them. A highly inspired newspaper article one day was followed by a senseless caricature which hurt Niko’s pride and angered him. After that he decided to cut all ties with artists. A short time after some Georgian artists got together; they made a decision during a regular session of the Society to give 200 Ruble-assistance to Niko. The money was given to a young Georgian artist Lado Gudiashvili to deliver. Too long he searched for Niko in Didube - on the other side of the river Mtkvari, eventually in someplace a loud whooping of the children attracted attention that made him enter a yard where some kids were hurling stones at a door behind of which one “Pianitsa Zhevopisets” (a drunkard artist) was living. It turned out to be Nikala, that small room was his shelter with a few steps in length and same as in width under a staircase where no one could stand straight. This horrific picture was buried in a mind of the young artist for the long time. Three days and three nights with high fiver Niko was in a dark and dump basement alone, he could not even stand. One tenant in a house found him by chance and took him to the hospital. He passed away in one day and a half on 7th of April in 1918 in a night of Easter. He was buried as homeless, with no name and a gravestone. His paintings often depicted the same themes over and over again. He loved the Queen Tamar, the Poet Rustaveli and the past of Georgia. He painted portraits, scenes of feasts, animals, some by orders and some by his wish. He often drew a village habitat where he used to paint a boy walking through a gate and a mother standing in a hallway waving at him. This boy is probably him, as the perpetual child as he remained forever.

Niko Pirosmani‘s Self Portrait


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To Georgia


The crusader army conquered Jerusalem. It was the period of great significance for religious Europe to achieve dreams, observe, and evaluate the studied facts in reality. Besides preys, gold, silver, carpets, the eastern knowledge and wisdom were introduced from the Holy Land. In addition, there was the Holy Sepulcher on the other side of the sea.

Crusaders And The Kingdom of Georgia Spring 2012




eter, one of the well-known hermits of a faraway monastery, was inspired to liberate Jerusalem from Muslims after visiting Jesus Christ’s tomb and Golgotha. Peter visited Pope Urban II in Italy, fell on his knees and asked him to help rescuing the Holy City. He appealed to people on the central square of Larmont, that Europe was ready to rescue Christ’s tomb from unbelievers. Padres have planned the idea of a holy war. Pope Urban II assured the Crusaders (whose emblem was the Red Cross on their clothes), that he would grant them the remission of their sins after ending of religious expeditionary wars. Pope Urban II visited provinces of France and held meetings in Rouen, Angers, Nimes. People of different social groups (knights, peasants, thieves), of different ages were collected under the flag of Crusade in England, German, Italy and Spain. The crusader army set off to Jerusalem in 1096. They reached to Byzantine Empire, captured Antioch and then reconquered Jerusalem on the day of Christ’s crucifixion (1099). At that time, David I V “the Builder” was a king of Georgia. “The Franks came over at that time and captured Jerusalem and Antioch and with God’s help the land of Kartli was restored, while David gained in power and enlarged his fighting forces. He paid no further Kharaj to the sultan and the Turks were no longer able to winter in Kartli.” The Crusaders are named the “Franks” by King David IV of Georgia’s historian and are known under this name ( Franks) in the nearest west too. In addition, King David IV is called as Sword of the Messiah in Christianity and the promoter of Christian Culture in the west. Historians cannot provide with exact information about King David and Crusaders alliance in military activities. In reality the crusaders’ appearance was the assistance of King David IV for implementing his politics in Georgia and vice-versa, King David IV of Georgia’s victory over Seljuk Turks was the convenient fact for the Crusaders. Hence, the Crusaders established Crusader States, the rulers of these States recognized the Kingdom of Georgia as the friendly country. Abdul Pharaj, Assyrian chronologic provides documentary evidence of this interdependent collaboration. Gotee, French chronologic in his work:” Battles of Antioch” describes King David of Georgia’s winning in the battle of Didgori” (1121). The weakened army of Seljuk Turks was trying to join their forces after attacking of Crusaders, in particular cases they had achieved success. Namj al- din El-gazi, the ruler of Aleppo, and Mardin was the most powerful general between Seljuk officers. The Crusader army was annihi-


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Round the Cross Anso or Anselus, the psalmist of the Holy Sepulchre donated the cross (which was made from pieces of the vivifying pillar) to Galone, the bishop of a Parisian church. The cross was brought in triumph in Paris. At that time, Notre Dame Cathedral had not been constructed yet, but there was the basilica since earliest times. The cross was rested in this place, in August of 1109. For many centuries the June Ceremony was held by the bishop, who was blessing the people using this cross, starting from the East, (the cross was brought from) and the ceremony was completed by turning the cross toward the south ( the place where the cross was kept ). Anselus described the appearance of the cross in his letter about Notre Dame. According to legend “King David IV of Georgia hold the cross in his hand.., David, who kept and watch the gate of the Caspian Sea as his ancestors and his descendants are following him till now � After the death of King David IV ,his wife with small number of people arrived to Jerusalem for dyeing in peace and quiet. The queen donated some parts of jewellery to the monasteries and remains she gave to poor people. Anselus, the cantor of the Holy Sepulchre donated the cross to Notre Dame. Spring 2012




To Georgia

JUST SO STORY lated by Namj al-din El-gazi’s army, at the bank of Oriento (1119) .This historical event was named as the “blooded field” and Namj al-din El-gazi was called the “Star of Religious” in the Islamic world. Whereas Georgia was the brother in arms in Crusade, the combined army of Seljuk Turks was sent toward Georgia under the commander Nejd al- din El-gazi. It was not accidental that in the battle of Didgori the crusader knights fought on the side of Georgians, who came to Georgia by different means during Crusade. The battle resulted in king David IV of Georgia’s decisive victory over a Seljuk Turks army and Moslem coalition was broken as Georgian victorious army battled against Muslims successfully in current hundred years. Gotee, chronologist, does not cover his admiration toward King David IV and characterizes Georgians as Christian brothers, rescuers and brother-in-arms in religious expeditionary wars.After the quarter of the century from the battle of Didgori, Seljuk army surrounded Edessa in 1144. The Second Crusade was caused by the capture of Edessa. The cry about the another Crusade arose on all the sides of Europe. The kings of Europe, namely Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, were leaders of the Second Crusade. European army marched through the country toward Jerusalem. After the failure of the Second Crusade, the myth about unbeaten crusaders was broken by this fact. The Moslem world was fond of the famous Sarah Ad Din (Saladin), the leader for a holy war against the Christians, who successively occupied remaining towns, cities, (Galilee) of the Holy land. The force of Muslims was increased. Saladin’s armies passed Jordan and came to Tiverada. Thus Saladin’s armies conquered Jerusalem on 2 October 1187.After the failure of the Second Crusade, the Third Crusade was launched by anxious Europe. Three greatest rulers of Europe: King Philip Augustus of France, King Richard I of England, Lion- hearted and the German emperor, Frederick Barbarossa led a large army for the recovery of the Holy City. The Third Crusade reduced the glory of the Muslim world, it was seen that European military army able to rescue the Holy Land. Finally, King Richard I and Saladin concluded a truce but it must be mentioned that historically Muslims with the general Saladin were winners in the religious expeditionary wars.

Present column is prepared on the basis of Materials by Z. Avalishvili’s «Since the time of the Crusaders» and R. Metreveli ‘s - «The Crusaders and the kingdom of Georgia». Spring 2012




To Georgia


Reserve of the Royal Family Algeti Nature Reserve

Spring 2012




lgeti Nature Reserve is located in historical lower Kartli. Vakhushti Bagrationi, the historian and geographer of the seventeenth century, describes Algeti gorge as the area abundant in forests and animals. He owned lands in lower Kartli and knew this area properly. Vakhushti Bagrationi also describes his father’s (King of Lower Kartli, Vakhtang VI) hunting in Algeti territories. According to him, the entourage of the King killed 180 deer in a day. In the adjacent territory of Algeti many archeological monuments have been discovered; the earliest of them dates from the Neolithic (latest Stone Age) and early Bronze Age. The cyclopean fortresses of the Bronze Age have survived to date. Excavations of the famous box-shaped, stone type graveyard, known as the “Algeti Graveyard,” led to discoveries of jewelry and precious objects that were very interesting in that time. As a result of archeological excavations, materials of the Hellenistic age were discovered in Manglisi coins and bronze objects with animals and birds depicted on them. There are several extremely significant monuments of middle ages in Algeti and its adjacent territories that include: Manglisi temple of the fourth century, Kldekari fortress of the ninth century and Birtvisi town-fortress of the eleventh century the very beautiful monument that due to its odd natural location remained impregnable for the invaders. Only the hordes of Temur Leng (Temur the Lame) from the Central Asia managed to permeate it. In addition, there are many other historical monuments in the surroundings of Algeti. Didgori valley is very close to the northeast border of the reserve. It is the place where the greatest and most significant battle in the history of Georgia occurred. The battle is known as the “Amazing Defeat.” On 12 August, 1121, the army of Georgian King David IV, the unifier of the state of Georgia, managed to defeat the huge coalition army of Muslims in this valley. The result was that the way to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, which was subordinate to the Arabian government for 5 centuries, was restored. The villages of the Algeti gorge are mostly inhabited by people from Mtiuleti and other areas of mountainous Eastern Georgia. The case is that since the late Middle Ages the gorge located on the main road leading from Meskhet-Javakheti to KartlKakheti and controlled by the Turks was often attacked by foraying Lezgins and Turkish invaders. Consequently, the Georgian population almost completely left the gorge, and the territory was resettled only in the year 1800 after Russia annexed Georgia. Algeti, established in 1965, is located in Tetritskaro District 60 km southwest of Tbilisi. The Algeti Nature Reserve contains the southern slopes of the eastern part of Trialeti Ridge. The purpose of the creation of the reserve is to protect the south-eastern border of the distribution of Eastern Spruce and Nordmann Fir. The Algeti Reserve represents rugged terrain with a number of streams and


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small rivers. The whole Trialeti mountain ridge as well as Algeti reserve is composed of volcanic and sedimentary layers. The reserve is characterized by humid climate with moderately cold winter and long worm summer. The river Algeti borders the reserve. During the majority of the year it is a small mountain river with a number of small tributaries and ravines, although in spring when the snow melts, the river floods to quite a great extent. The total area of Algeti reserve is 6 822 hectares, and most of its territory is covered with forest. The

The cyclopean fortresses of the Bronze Age have survived to date. Excavations of the famous box-shaped, stone type graveyard, known as the “Algeti Graveyard,” led to discoveries of jewelry and precious objects that were very interesting in that time famous fir-tree forest, which includes silver-firs too in some places, is at 1100-1800 m above sea level. There are hornbeam woods and pine woods in the reserve; most of them are of secondary origin. In the mixed forests of Algeti nature reserve, tree species include: linden, maple, threatened Nordmann fir, oriental beech, oaks, elm, smooth-leaved elm, and Turkish hazel. Also the following bush species occur here: oriental hornbeam, buckthorn, meadow-sweet (spiraea) and Jerusalem thorn, Ilex Colchica and cornel are common in these forests. The forest tracts are covered with fields of various floristic compositions. The real alpine and sub-alpine fields and meadows do not exist in the territory of reserve.

Vakhushti Bagrationi A son of King Vakhtang VI of Kartli (ruled 17161724), he was born in Tbilisi, 1696. Educated by the brothers Garsevanishvili and a Roman Catholic mission, he was fluent in six foreign languages, particularly in Greek, Latin, French, Turkish, Russian and Armenian. In 1719 and 1720, he took part in two successive campaigns against the rebel duke (Eristavi) Shanshe of the Ksani. From August to November 1722, he was a governor of the kingdom during his father’s absence at the Ganja campaign. Later he served as a commander in Kvemo Kartli. After the Ottoman occupation of Kartli, he followed King Vakhtang in his emigration to the Russian Empire in 1724. Retired to Moscow, Tsarevich Vakhusht (as he came to be known in Russia) was granted a pension.He married in 1717 Mariam, youngest daughter of Prince Giorgi-Malakia Abashidze, virtual ruler of the Kingdom of Imereti, and had seven children. He died at Moscow, 1757. He was buried at the Donskoy Monastery in Moscow, a traditional burial ground of Georgian emigrant royalty and nobility. Spring 2012





There are birds of more than 100 species in Algeti gorge, such as: Common Buzzard, Montagu’s Harrier, European Roller, Hoopoe, Black Woodpecker, Eurasian Jay, Goldfinch, etc. A pair of Imperial Eagle breeds near the reserve. 74

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To Georgia

MODI GEO Botanists call the reserve a “Floristic Junction”. Plant species from the different phyto-geographical regions (Colchic, Hircanic, Iberian, Caucasian, and Persian) coexist here. Unfortunately, since the middle ages, the Algeti reserve that was once abundant in beasts has quite diminished in these terms. Nowadays, you can no longer see the deer, which was the lovely target of hunting for Georgian kings. But, wandering in the forests is still promising and interesting for nature lovers and naturalists. In the territory of the reserve there occur 5 amphibian species and 15 reptiles that include 10 lizard species. Snakes occurring there include: Smooth Snake, Grass Snake, Dice Snake, Transcaucasia Rat Snake, and such an interesting and rare venomous snake as Caucasian subspecies of Nose-horned Viper. There are birds of more than 100 species in Algeti gorge, such as: Goshawk, Sparrow hawk, Common Buzzard, Montagu’s Harrier, Eagle Owl, European Roller, Hoopoe, Black Woodpecker, Blackbird, Eurasian Jay, Winter Wren, Goldfinch, etc. A pair of Imperial Eagle breeds near the reserve. The mammals include Brown Bear, Gray Wolf, Red Fox, Lynx, Pine Marten, Common Squirrel, Dormice, and Hares. Unfortunately, in the recent decade, nobody has seen Red Deer there. The Roe deer is the permanent habitant of these territories. Wild Boars too are frequently seen in Algeti reserve; due to poaching, their population has diminished quite significantly in the reserve during the last decade.The forms of tourism such as walking, riding and archeological tours are poorly developed in the reserve and adjacent territories. The region has quite a good potential for photo-video, bird watching, ecological, botanical and driving adventure tours. The tourist hotel-houses are under construction in Algeti and its adjacent territories. The family hotel net is quite well developed in the Manglisi borough where it is possible to provide accommodation with advanced reservations. The information about the family hotels of Manglisi is presented in the guidebook, and it is possible to make reservations trough tourist agencies. Nowadays, it is planned to expand the Algeti reserve in the direction of Tsalka, Kaspi and Tetritskaro Districts. The aim of expansion is conservation of biodiversity and development of eco-tourism.

Present column is prepared on the basis of “AGENSY OF PROTECTED AREAS” materials.

Spring 2012



To Georgia


MODI MAGAZINE&GALA GALLERY Presents - A new collection of works by the artists :

Vakho Bugadze

«Walk Around The Grain Square» leila shelia

«The White April»

Spring 2012




Spring 2012




To Georgia




Spring 2012



LEILA SHELIA Born 20.07.1953 in Sukhumi, Georgia. Graduated the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 1978. A Member of Union of Georgian Artists since 1974. EXHIBITION 1990 – Georgian artists-exhibition, “Brok” Gallery. Barcelona. Spain. 1990 – Group exhibition. Gallery “Drouot” Paris. France. 1991 – Group exhibition. “Art Mif” Gallery. Moscow. Russia. 1993 – “Art of Georgia”. Franche Comte. Brussels. Belgium. 1993 – Group exhibition. Gallery “Roswitha Benkert”. Switzerland. 1995 – “Georgian Arts” Art Center. Baku. Azerbaijan. 1996 – “MEGAUNIVERS” Exhibition Action. “TMS” Gallery. Tbilisi. Georgia. 1996 – Exhibition “Messe”. Pimasens. Germany. 1997 – Exhibition “Greece in the Modern Art of Georgia. National Gallery. Tbilisi. Georgia. 1998 – Solo Exhibition. State Museum of Tbilisi. Gallery “Qarvasla”. Georgia. 1999 – Exhibition “Ultramarin” Gallery “TMS” Tbilisi. Georgia. 2000 – Solo Exhibition. Gallery “TMS” Tbilisi. Georgia. 2001 – “Georgian Art”. Group exhibition. UNESCO. Paris. France. 2003 – Solo Exhibition. Gallery “Universe” 2006 – Solo Exhibition. Gallery “TMS”, Tbilisi, Georgia 2007 – Solo Exhibition. Caucasian House, Paris, France 2012-Solo Exhibition. The Gala Gallery “, Tbilisi, Georgia COLLECTIONS Tbilisi. Georgia. State Museum of Modern Art. London. United Kingdom. Johnston Sebastian. Private collection. Paris. France. Alexander Glezer. Private collection. Vienna. Austria. Leopold Bausbeck. Private collection. Symphony (fragment) de Piere Gahrton. Sweden. 2012, 105x135 Paris. France. Gallery ”Drouot Richelieu-Salle 9.” London, United Kingdom. Nicholas Meinertsaguen. Private collection.

White Kiss, 2012 90x70


Portrait, 2010 90x70

White April, 2011 60x80


Stillife, 2011 60x80

Misty, 2006 73x93

Blue, 2011 56x60

The Gates of the Red City, 2012 70x90


White Simphony,2012 100x110

PORTFOLIO Torso, 2012 110x145


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trip to the cinema Eurimages, the European Film Industry Development Fund is also named the Council of European Cinema. Today, both, film professionals and cine amateurs, engage in discourse regarding the total commercialization of films alike. It aims to promote Art House films, supports filmmakers when it comes to co-production and distribution, and provides backing through Eurimages cinema circuit. More than 1300 projects have enjoyed the support of the fund, coming to a grand total of 407 million €. In 2011, Georgia became the 36th member state of the fund and its membership is without a doubt of great significance for the development of Georgian cinema. Certain results are already obvious.

Interview with Tamar Tatishvili / Interviewer: Irine Jordania

Magazine “MODI” met with Ms. Tamar Tatishvili, the director of Georgian National Film Center, to discuss some related topics. Georgia is a Member State of “Eurimages” – would it be appropriate to say that this is the most important event in recent years for the development of Georgian cinema? Yes, it certainly is. Georgian membership is important in a number of ways, firstly from a financial standpoint. Now there are alternative sources of funding for Georgian film projects and the effects are already obvious. Georgian film producers are currently preparing a film to present at “Eurimages” film festival and only two weeks ago it was publicly announced that the previous competition yielded financial backing for a Georgian film project. It will be realized in Georgia, in cooperation with Pavel Pavlikovski, a famous Polish documentary filmmaker, with Vova Katcharava representing the Georgian side. It will be the first Georgian, British and French co-production. I think it would be a great start for us if a Georgian director were to obtain funding this year. Turkey, for example, received its first funding three years after membership, as did Switzerland, and it is already a great achievement that Georgian project managed to get 550,000 euro in funding.In addition, Georgia has a longstanding film tradition; it is notable that in 2001, the Georgian Parliament

decided to establish the National Film Center, without the film center, close cooperation with international funds would have been very difficult. Member States of “Eurimages” agree on the fact that amidst the turmoil caused by the war in Georgia, and amidst social and political crises, we were searching for ways to save Georgian cinema – this was a contributing factor to our membership. The “Eurimages” membership is the indicator that Georgian filmmaking is a part of European cinema and therefore it should be subsidized by Europe. The fund also assists its member states in setting up European film screenings. It is important, because there is a lack of diversity in Georgia and the eight screening venues that we do have are all part of a single company. Unfortunately, there are no other cinemas in Georgia, except for Cinema House and an insignificant number of other small cinemas, which are all in dire conditions. In September with the help of “Eurimages”, we will attempt to re-equip and remodel Cinema House. The fund also offers assistance as a co-financer for cinema restorations, so long as the state is willing to pay half of the expenses. As a result, alternative screening venues will be established for showing European films. This process will take time, but already it is in a reality. In addition, with

Spring 2012



government support, we plan this year to begin the restoration of twelve cinemas across the country.

So, are there certain tendencies in Georgia towards the development of European films? Many international journalists have noted this fact. Eurimages follows closely with its investments if a project has met funding requirements, it also means that it qualifies European standards. Eurimages is effective means of participation in film festivals. For example, there is a film called “Parade”, a co-production between Serbia, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia, which won three prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival (the “Panorama” program). Since then it is been screened at almost every major film festival.

Can we consider that “Eurimages” protects films from total commercialization and promotes Art House films? “Eurimages” will not finance a blockbuster movie.


To Georgia

But, based on examples such as: Nani Moretti’s film “Habemus Papam” (“We Have a Pope”), that was met with varied reaction across different countries, and Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia”, which was last year’s participant at Cannes festival; both of these projects place greater emphasis on marketing as opposed to other European films. Today, it is called to cross over. Nevertheless, these films are far from James Bond. The fund offers financial support to well-known filmmakers, but it is important to note that preference goes towards debutant directors, which of course is a great stimulus for the development of Art House films.

Today, it is known that Hollywood has an influence upon the world of filmmaking. Are there any methods or mechanisms that can be used to confront this phenomenon? I cannot think of anything, but I can offer alternative films of old filmmaking countries. In this case we may call “Eurimages” the Council of European films. Member States of the fund have expressed their desire to preserve

Tamar Tatishvili with Director SPI OlsbergJonathan Olsberg, Berlinale 2012


cinema as a vital part of their culture. Without government support, neither French nor Romanian filmmaking, both of which are so highly talked about these days, would exist. The fund is a type of alliance, instated to protect the interests of European cinema. For example, in Europe they have adopted a certain principle: cinemas now show more and more European films next to Hollywood movies, under the incentive of a cash-back system, which reimburses the cinema with a certain amount of money upon screening of European films. The “European Cinema” network operates under this system, putting up a fight against the complete commercialization of films.

I’m getting the impression that for Georgian cinema the wheels have been set in motion, so to speak…

Tamar Tatishvili with Simon Perry, Cannes 2010

It is an accurate observation, and it is a process which, in my opinion, is more or less on the right track. We have made it through a very difficult period of time; over the past fifteen years, the number of Georgian film professionals have significantly diminished. In singular cases, film directors managed to complete movies that were started much earlier during the

Soviet period, but this does not constitute the continuation of a filmmaking process. To my mind, it is the perfect time for resources to be managed properly. In line with that thought, I think that we have been able to put the emphasis correctly, whether it is on membership in “Eurimages”, or vocational trainings for the script development, or other trainings for film producers involving the preparation of project packages. In the Soviet Union, the role of the producer was fundamentally different from what it is now. The producer used to manage money that was already available, at his disposal. Today, it has become the role of production managers. Filmmaking today relies on the creative producer, who takes the risks, believes in the success of the project and seeks out funding independently. The first precedent for that type of system in Georgia was the film “A Trip to Karabakh”, followed by George Ovashvili’s film, “The Other Bank”, by Rusudan Pirveli’s film “Susa”. Levan Koghuashvili’s “Street Days”, Kate Machavariani’s “Salt White” and others. I remember a screening of Levan Zaqareishvili’s film “Tbilisi – Tbilisi”. It was attended by Christa Saredi,

Spring 2012




To Georgia

Interview the famous figure in the film industry and the sales agent (“Sareti World Salesâ€?), who had discovered the directors: Jim Jarmusch and Michael Haneke‌ I remember his teary eyes and the look on his face when he said that if this film had had the opportunities of passing the path as other European films; it would have been a critical success, a breakthrough film. I recall this story quite often and I grow confident that the wheels are truly in motion. Now, it is important to sustain the support that our film industry has begun to enjoy.

What sort of support do you expect from the state? First of all, what we are working on is a project for an alternative cinema network and this requires state consent. I have hopes that our project will be met with a positive response. Secondly, a simplified tax system for film industries would greatly benefit the development of Georgian cinema. Films that gain funding are also partly subsidized by the state, and those subsidies need to be provided as grants, meaning that they should be interestfree. And thirdly, producers who come to Georgia for shooting should receive a return of their qualified expenses, i.e. twenty percent of costs incurred. This does not mean exemption from taxes and yet it is a very significant factor in attracting work to Georgia, as well as an important factor for the professional growth of Georgian filmmakers and associated professionals. Yet another project, which I think is very important, would be the retrieval and digitalization of old Georgian films, most of which are now in Russia. And what I really want to put the emphasis on is that film education needs to become a priority for the government. Georgian citizens should be able to receive a sound education in filmmaking, here in Georgia. For a small country like ours, films cannot be contained within borders. In most cases films are messages to the world that can achieve greater result than would be possible through hosting even the largest of delegations.

Do you think that some forms of expression are obsolete? Today, Georgian films fall close with classic examples of the Social Cinema. They lack for the metaphorical, fable-like narrative, which during the Soviet era was one way of avoiding censorship. However, at the same time, a distinctive, Georgian film language was created. Tamar Tatishvili The Georgia Stand Berlinale 2012

What I would wish is the re-emergence of humor, of poetic heroes in Georgian films, even absurdity if you will. Warmth and the sense of humor for me is what makes Georgian cinema unique.

Spring 2012


THE GEORGIAN FILM COMMISSION SERVICES ARE PROVIDED BY THE GEORGIAN NATIONAL FILM CENTER Film Commission Georgia is now offering its large database of local filmmakers. We can be your guide to filmmaking in Georgia: 






Special Project “Georgian film is a completely unique phenomenon, vivid, philosophically inspiring, very wise, childlike. There is everything that can make me cry and I ought to say that it (my crying) is not an easy thing.� Federico Fellini

The history of the Georgian cinema begins practically in parallel with the European one. 16th November 1896. Tbilisi Nobiliary Theatre stuck playbills all over Tbilisi announcing “it will be shown the Lumiere Cinematography!” Lately,afterfouryearsPhotographerDavidDighmelov and his son Aleksandre bought the Lumiere projection system and under the pseudonym of John Morris, toured various parts of Georgia. The early years of the twelfth century were followed by the opening of many picture houses in Tbilisi such as: APOLO, SKIFI, ERANI, KOLIZEI, CINEMA, MELENELECTRIC and so on. APOLO was constructed in modern style. it is considered up today as the attractive building of Tbilisi. 1908 is the year of founding of Georgian cinema. At that time Georgian film industry started the production, first documentary and full- length films were created. In 20’s the first cinema studio was established in Tbilisi by the Belgian firm FILME. At that time Georgian cinema industry conditioned the rise of cinematography. Generation of cinematographers changed, new film directors have emerged and simultaneously this sphere of art is developing . Georgian cinema has appeared on the international arena and continues to attract the interest of the international film market. Different ways

and original forms are outlined and used in production of films. Famous films such as “Eliso” by Nikoloz Shengelaia (1928), “My Grandmother” by Kote Mikaberidze (1929), “Jim Shvante” by Mikheil Kalatozov (1930) and “Khabarda” by Mikheil Chiaureli (1931) were made in a span of four years. These movies are considered as the part of Georgian cinematography as well as the part of World cinema. Some films were unacceptable for the Soviet censors. For example, the masterpiece of avant-garde cinema “My Grandmother” was banned for 40 years. A film by Mikhail Kalatozishvili, “Nail in the Boot” (1931), was also never shown in the Soviet period despite the fact that its director was a deputy minister of cinematography of the Soviet Union in 1940s and his film “The Cranes are flying” was awarded the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1958. Georgian film directors are seeking for forms and means to avoid the governmental censorship. And by this way the original, romantic films are created full of sense of humor and metaphors. In recent years Georgian cinema has been witnessing a period of rebirth and revival. After 20 stagnant years, financial support from the state and private industry has helped to create Georgian cinema. Georgian movies have returned and have enjoyed wide popularity in almost all international festivals and forums.

“WILL THERE BE A THEATRE THERE?!” Documentary Film 45 Min., HD, Color Director: Nana Janelidze Screenplay: Nana Janelidze DOP: Goirgi Beridze Producers: Nana Janelidze, Irakli Tripolski Production: Studio Stuko, Studio N&N Film tells about the adventures of a well-known Georgian actor – Kakhi Kavsadze. The story of his family – stories of Kakhis Granfather, Sandro – his father, Datashka and of Kakhi himself. The adventure of his family is the fate of great nation, one that has disappeared from the map and will soon vanish from human memory.

”The Other Bank” Director: Giorgi Ovashvili Screenplay: Nugzar Shataidze DOP: Shahriar Asadi Producers: Giorgi ovashvili, Sain Gabdulin The main character is a boy,12 years old, the refugee from Apkhazia, who faced many vital problems. The civil war took away everything, dreams and wishes too. Georgian movie tells the tale of Tedo’s attempts to return the self-confidence and hope.

“The Street Days “ Director: Levan Koguashvili Screenplay: Levan Koguashvili, Boris Frumin, Nikoloz Marr DOP: Archil Akhvlediani Producers : Archil Gelovani, Levan Korinteli, Gia Bazgadze The main character, 45 years old Georgian drug-user, he is facing the most important choice: a corrupt police officers demand to peach on his friend’s son(16 year old boy). If he agree, he will get money and drugs. In other case, he will be sentenced to imprisonment for ten years and practically his life will be over.

“NOT WHITE – BLACK” Documentary Film 56 Min., Video, Color Director, Screenplay, DOP: Konstantine (Mindia) Esadze Producer: Tinatin Kajrishvili Production: “Gemini” The protagonist of the film is a man trying to get a German visa. First he goes to Europe with a rather complicated mission: he has to obtain a car and bring it safely to homeland. He is a bit scared, but he founds other, more experienced drivers and makes friends with them. It is the first time for him to travel by plane. There are many interesting things there, but he has no time to look around. He has one specific route and goal.

“SALT WHITE” Director: Keti Machavariani Screenplay: Keti Machavariani DOP: Giorgi Shvelidze Producers: Jaga grip, Gia Bazgadze, Levan Korinteli Production: Jaga Grip, Independent Film Project Georgia, beginning of the 21st century. Nana’s and Nikos closed world is disrupted and changed forever by the homeless Sopo. She points Nana to a new path – the path of hope.

“BAKHMARO” Director: Salome Jashi DOP: Salome Jashi Producers: Anna Dziapshipa, Heino Dekert Production: filmproduction in co-production with sadock film in association with MDR and YLE, IKON, TVP, ETV2 A journey into lively but rooting building – a microcosm pervaded by the constant anticipation of change. A three-stories brick building in a provincial Georgian town. At the center of the building there is a restaurant, the tables are set, waiting for the rare customers. Like customers, change is also rare here. Just lie other inhabitants of the building; waitress Nana and her boss are waiting… Against the background of political events, somehow, life goes on.


Happy Easter! Irina Jishkariani


asha is the fundamental and most important festival of the Orthodox Church: “Feast of feasts”, “Celebration of Celebrations”, “The Lady of days”, “The expected and Holy day”, on which we praise Christ.Every other religious festival in the Christian calendar, including Christmas, is secondary in importance to the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is reflected in rich Paschal customs in the cultures of the countries that have traditionally had an Orthodox Christian majority, in Georgia, for example. The word “Pasha” came to us from the Greek language and means “deliverance”. On this Holy Day we celebrate deliverance from the power of devil and the primary act that fulfills the purpose of Christ’s ministry on earth - to defeat death by dying and to purify and exalt humanity by voluntarily assuming human sins.Thus our Savior granted us redemption by his agonizing death and eternal life- by His Resurrection. The Resurrection of Je-

sus Christ is the climax of the Christian faith.It is the first and greatest God’s truth annunciated by His apostles. The preparation for Pasha begins with the season of Great Lent, lasting for seven weeks. In addition to fasting and prayer, Orthodox Christians cut down on all entertainment and nonessential activities until Great and Holy Friday, the most austere day of the year. On this day before sunset Georgian housewives always dye eggs. They boil them in a broth together with finely chopped raspberry roots (hendro) and onion peelings. This mix gives a beautiful deep red color to eggs, whereas other colors are not much acceptable. Traditionally, on the evening of Great and Holy Saturday, the Midnight office is celebrated soon after 11:00 p.m. At its completion all light in the church building is extinguished, and all wait in darkness and silence for the stroke of midnight. Then a new flame is struck in the altar, or the priest lights his candle from the perpetual lamp kept burning there, and he then lights candles held by his assistants, who then go to light candles held by the congregation (this practice has its origin in the reception of the Holy Fire at the Church of the Holy Tomb in Jerusalem). Then the priest and congregation go In a procession with the cross around the church building, holding lit candles and chanting. After circling around the temple (church or

Gourmet’t cathedral) once or three times , the procession stops on front of the doors. Then, in all traditions of the Orthodox Church the priest makes the sign of the cross with the censer in front of the closed doors(which represent the sealed tomb). He and the people chant the Paschal Troparation and all of the bells are sounded. Then all re-enter the temple and Paschal Matins begins immediately followed by the Paschal hours and then the Paschal Divine Liturgy. After the Liturgy the priest may bless Paschal eggs and baskets brought by the faithful, containing the foods, forbidden during the Great Fast. Traditionally, Easter eggs - hard-boiled eggs dyed bright red to symbolize the spilt Blood of Christ are cracked together to celebrate the opening of the Tomb of Christ. Easter this year comes on the 15th of April. The week, preceding this Holy date, is generally called a Holy Week or Paschal Vigil. The mostly distinguished days are the last days of the week: Maundy Thursday(or Clean Thursday), when every Christian tries to clear his mind soul and body; Good Friday- the day, reminiscent of great sufferings of Jesus Christ; Holy Saturday - the day of Grief, and finally, Easter Sunday - the Bright Resurrection of Jesus Christ.For the following week, known as “ Bright Week”, all fasting is prohibited. The Feast is celebrated throughout the whole week- red

eggs, kulich and pasha should be on the white table cloth during all this time. In Georgia, besides these foods, we can see on the Paschal table such national dishes as boiled ham- “lori”, as “chakapuli”, a hearty stew of chopped lamb, onions, greens and wild plums (tkemali). But it is noteworthy that Georgian Paschal meals are much more ascetic than in other Orthodox countries. Actually, ascetics is very characteristic of the Georgian culture. On the whole, “ Less is more” - is the basic principle of the Georgian artistic taste, particularly in architecture .Georgian churches demonstrate it perfectly well. The customary Paschal greeting is :” Christ is risen!”, to which the response is: “Truly He is risen!” Each time, exclaiming this, we mean that we do believe in His glorious life and glorious Resurrection after death, in His unbearable torments and sufferings before it. We believe in His Teaching, in every word of it, as they are words of love and mercy, tolerance and compassion. They are words of divine wisdom. We need them badly as we are too weak and imperfect. We need them to support us in our frail attempts to become a bit better. Remember a line from a famous song? - : “But tomorrow may rain, so - I’ll follow the Sun.” We also will, as we know the way. Jesus showed it to us.



Fax: (+995 32) 244 73 64


Tbilisi, 37d T. Tabidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 291 49 70, 291 49 71, 291 49 72 Fax: (+995 32) 295 49 78, 291 49 80

Tbilisi, 12a Kipshidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 225 39 61 Fax: (+995 32) 225 11 86


Tbilisi, 37 Chavchavadze Ave., b. 6 , Tel: (+995 32) 291 67 40, 291 67 41, 291 67 42 Fax: (+995 32) 291 67 44

Estonia - embassy

Tbilisi, 4 Likhauri lane Tel: (+995 32) 236 51 22, Fax: (+995 32) 236 51 38



Tbilisi, 80 Chavchavadze Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 291 36 56, 291 36 57, 291 36 58 Fax: (+995 32) 291 36 28

Italian Republic EMBASSY


Tbilisi, 3a Chitadze St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 64 18 Fax: (+995 32) 299 64 15

Federal Republic of Germany - EMBASSY

Tbilisi, 7d Krtsanisi St. Tel: (+995 32) 275 21 11 Fax: (+995 32) 275 21 12

Tbilisi, 49 Krtsanisi Tel: (+995 32) 224 37 18, 224 37 10

Tbilisi, 20 Telavi St. Tel: (+995 32) 244 73 00, Fax: (+995 32) 244 73 64


Tbilisi, 37d T. Tabidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 291 49 70, 291 49 71, 291 49 72, Fax: (+995 32) 295 49 78, 291 49 80

Estonia - embassy

Tbilisi, 4 Likhauri lane Tel: (+995 32) 236 51 22, Fax: (+995 32) 236 51 38

Federal Republic of Germany - EMBASSY

Tbilisi, 20 Telavi St. Tel: (+995 32) 244 73 00,

Japan - embassy

kingdom of the Netherlands - embassy

Tbilisi, 20 Telavi St. Tel: (+995 32) 227 62 00 Fax: (+995 32) 227 62 32

Kingdom of Sweden EMBassy

Tbilisi, 12 T. Tabidze St Tel: (+995 32) 255 03 20 Fax: (+995 32) 225 12 26

Kingdom of Denmark honorary consulate

Tbilisi,7 N.Nikoladze St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 81 15, (+995 77) 574 40 01 Fax: (+995 32) 292 35 33

Kingdom of Belgium honorary consulate

Tbilisi, 24 Kazbegi Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 246 52 00 Fax: (+995 32) 246 52 00

To Georgia


Tbilisi, 4 Odessa St. Tel: (+995 32) 224 48 58 Fax: (+995 32) 238 14 06

latvia republic - mbassy

Tbilisi, 15 Gogebashvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 99 76, 293 42 10 Fax: (+995 32) 295 33 75

lithuania republic embassy


Tbilisi, 25 Abuladze St. Tel: (+995 32) 291 29 33, 25 81 00 Fax: (+995 32) 222 17 93

norway honorary consulate

Tbilisi, 20 Abasheli St. Tel: (+995 32) 229 09 79 Fax: (+995 32) 229 35 53

People’s Republic of China - EMBASSY

Tbilisi, 52 Barnov St. Tel: (+995 32) 225 26 70

Republic of Armenia EMBASSY

Tbilisi, 4 Tetelashvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 295 17 23, 295 94 43 Fax: (+995 32) 96 42 87

Republic of Azerbaijan EMBASSY

Tbilisi, Kipshidze St., q. 2, b. q Tel: (+995 32) 225 35 26, 225 35 27, 225 26 39 Fax: (+995 32) 225 00 13

Republic of Bulgaria embassy

Tbilisi, 61 Agmashenebeli Ave.

Georgian - American restaurant “Vera Steakhouse. 37a Kostava St. Tbilis.


Tel: (+995 32) 291 01 94, 91 01 95 Fax: (+995 32) 291 02 70

Tbilisi, 83 Lvovi St. Tel: (+995 32) 239 90 08 Fax: (+995 32) 239 90 04

Republic of Kazakhstan embassy

Tbilisi,23 Shatberashvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 76 84 Fax: (+995 32) 229 24 24

Republic of Poland EMBASSY

Tbilisi, 19 Zubalashvili Brothers St. Tel: (+995 32)292 03 98 Fax: (+995 32) 292 03 97

Republic of Turkey EMBASSY

Tbilisi, 35 Chavchavadze Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 225 20 72 Fax: (+995 32) 222 06 66


Tbilisi, 7 Lvov St. Tel: (+995 32) 238 53 10 Fax: (+995 32) 238 52 10

RUSSIAN FEDERATION (Russian federation interests section at the Embassy of Switzerland)

Tbilisi, 51 Chavchavadze Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 291 26 45 Fax: (+995 32) 291 27 38


Tbilisi, 29 I. Abashidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 235 58 35

Embassy of Israel to Georgia

154 Agmashenebeli ave. Tbilisi 0112 Tel: (+995 32) 255 65 00

Swiss Confederation embassy

Tbilisi, 11 Krtsanisi St. Tel: (+995 32) 275 30 01, 75 30 02 Fax: (+995 32) 275 30 06


Tbilisi, 75 Oniashvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 231 11 61 Fax: (+995 32) 231 11 81


Tbilisi, 4 Freedom Sq. Tel: (+995 32) 227 47 47 Fax: (+995 32)227 47 92


Tbilisi, 11 Balanchini St. Tel: (+995 32) 227 70 00 Fax: (+995 32) 227 77 01

VATICAN (the holy see)

Tbilisi, Nutsubidze plateau 2m/d,40 Zhgenti St. Tel: (+995 32) 253 76 01, 253 76 04 Fax: (+995 32) 253 67 04

Entering Dzveli Sakhli, you seem to travel in the Old Tbilisi of XIXceturies



Sheraton Batumi

(+995 250) 27 30 30


Restaurant- 29 I. Abashidze St. Tbilisi

tel: (+995 90) 512 33 44

restaurant-7 Gorgasali St. Tbilisi

3 Metekhi slope, Tbilisi

Buffet - Italian Cuisine

Georgian Restaurant Beliashvili St. Tbilisi tel: (+995 95) 243 10 20

Svaneti-Mestia, Margiani str.9 Batumi, Vazha-Pshavela str.2 Tbilsi, Rousen square Tel: (+995 32) 240 22 00

Radisson Blu Hotel, Batumi

Intourist Batumi Palace

Batumi, E.Ninoshvilis str. 11 tel: (+995 222) 7 55 25


Tbilisi, Freedom square 4 Tel: (+995 32) 254 70 30

HolLidAy Inn


Kutaisi, A.Cereteli 2a tel: (+995 331) 4 75 76

Sport Hotel Gudauri


Sheraton Metechi Palase



Bakuriani, Didveli (Close to Tatra-puma lift)

Marriott Tbilisi

Tbilisi, 26 May square1 (+99532) 293 14 04

Tbilisi, Telavi str. 20 tel: (+995 32) 277 20 20

Telavi, I. Chavchavadze str.154 tel: (+995 32) 272 90 09, (+995 99) 531 69 28,

31 I. Abashidze St. Tbilisi

Caravan - Literary ArtCafé

10 Purtseladze St. Tbilisi

China Town - Chinese Restaurant

Dzveli Sakhli –Georgian Restaurant - 3 Sanapiro St. Tbilisi

Tbilisi, Rustaveli ave 13 tel: (+995 32) 277 92 00


Betsy’s hotel is an exquisitely decorated boutique hotel overlooking the center of Tbilisi.Tbilisi Makashvili str.32/34

Missoni – Lounge,

Cocktail Bar - 11 Erekle II St. Tbilisi

Old Metekhi Phaeton –

Pur Pur

1 A. Tbileli st. Tbilisi

10’ A

Salve – French cuisine


Japanese Restaurant - 29 I. Abashidze St. Tbilisi


In the shadow of Metekhi

Georgian Restaurant The Right Bank of the R. Mtkvari. Tbilisi tel: (+995 32) 253 07 97

Kala – Café

Club-Restaurant - 7 Bambis Rigi St. Tbilisi

KGB - Cafe with Soviet Interior

American/Georgian Restaurant -37a Kostava St. Tbilisi

L’express - French Cafe

Asian Restaurant - 29 I. Abashidze St. Tbilisi

Georgian Restaurant-29 K. Tsamebuli Ave. Tbilisi tel: (+995 32) 277 93 83 8/10 Erekle II St. Tbilisi tel: (+995 99) 279 97 37

Rcheuli Villa

Rcheuli Marani

Bread House- Georgian

on Chardin Street- 12 Chardin St. Tbilisi

Tbilsi, Freedom square 4 Tel: (+995 32) 277 91 00 Fax: (+995 32) 277 91 10

Batumi, N. Zhordania str. 31 tel: (+995 32) 272 90 09, (+995 99) 31 69 28, (+995 222) 7 07 07

Belle De Jour - French

Chardin 12 Restaurant

Carpe Diem

Courtyard Marriott –

Batumi .1 Ninoshvili Street 6000 Batumi Tel: +995 422 255 555 Fax: +995 422 228 888

Matryoshka – Slavic

cuisine- Hero’s Square, Tbilisi


Signagi, Central square tel: (+995 255) 4 30 30

Radisson blu IVERIA


Batonebi - American café 64 Paliashvili st. Tbilisi

8/10 King Erekle St. Tbilisi

14 Chardin St. Tbilisi

Maspindzelo - Sakhinkle

Restaurants Network - 7 Bambis Rigi St. Tbilisi tel: (+995 32) 230 30 30

Two Side

Vera Steak House


Dinning Room

38, Paliashvili Street Tbilisi, Georgia tel: (+995 32) 225 09 00

Citadines Freedom Square Tbilisi is the first Apartment Hotel in Georgia.

Spring 2012



Abanotubani, Tbilisi, Georgia tel: (+995 32) 272 00 21

Clubs two Side Party-Club

Tbilisi, 7 Bambis rigi St., reservation: Tel: (+995 32) 230 30 30

Bamba rooms

Tbilisi, 12 Bambis rigi Tel: (+995 32) 243 99 77

Beatles CLUB

Tbilisi, 25 Kostava St. Tel: (+995 32) 292 09 50


Tbilisi, 22 Metechi St., I fl. Tel: (+995 92) 532 32 32


Tbilisi, 76 Chavchavadze Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 222 51 33

Tel: (+995 90) 521 21 21, (+995 95) 221 21 21

Tel: (+995 32) 269 66 47, 269 66 51

night flight


Tbilisi, Baratashvili bridge, Mtkvari Right embankment Tel: (+995 32) 292 30 17 Fax: (+995 32) 292 30 16


Tbilisi, 2 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 293 58 11, 93 18 40 Fax: (+995 32) 293 31 15


Tbilisi, 8 Merjanishvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 295 35 82



Tbilisi, 11 Rkinis rigi Tel: (77) 522 02 82

fingers theatre

Tbilisi, 36 Kostava St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 99 55, Fax: (+995 32) 293 38 71


Tbilisi, 18 Nikoladze St. Tel: (+995 32) 225 05 80


Tbilisi, 9 Kiacheli St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 05 51, (+995 99) 544 08 18



Tbilisi, 44 Chavchavadze Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 229 25 34, (+995 97) 290 14 94


Tbilisi, 13 Shavteli St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 66 83 Fax: (+995 32) 292 24 96



Tbilisi, 5 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 292 03 57, 292 02 85, Fax: (+995 32) 255 50 00


magti club

Tbilisi, 22 Rustaveli Ave.

Tbilisi, 2/9 Guramishvili Ave.

Tbilisi, 64 Guramishvili Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 261 84 26, 261 84 13


Tbilisi, 64 Paliashvili St. Tel: (+995 90) 222 64 64

Tbilisi, 12 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 298 38 03, (+995 93) 522 20 60

Tbilisi,103Agmashenebeli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 295 69 03 Fax: (+995 32) 295 17 13


why not

Tbilisi, 45 Kostava St. Tel: (+995 91) 568 88 00


Tbilisi, 2 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 298 58 21 Fax: (+995 32) 293 31 15


Tbilisi, 8 Marjanishvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 295 35 82 Fax: (+995 32) 295 40 01

kakha bakuradze movement theatre


Tbilisi, 11a Leonidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 74 27, (+995 99) 257 95 92


Tbilisi,164 Agmashenebeli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 235 31 52, 234 28 99, 235 70 13 Fax: (+995 32) 235 01 94

meore sakhli (the second home)

Tbilisi, 60 Agmashenebeli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 295 78 22

music and dramatic state theatre

Tbilisi,182 Agmashenebeli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 234 80 90, 234 79 59 Fax: (+995 32) 234 80 90

nabadi - georgian folklore theatre

Tbilisi, 19 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 298 99 91

nodar dumbadze state children`s theatre

Tbilisi, 99/1Agmashenebeli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 295 50 67, 95 78 74 Fax: (+995 32) 296 32 89

Royal quarter theatre

Tbilisi,182 Agmashenebeli Ave. (Mushtaidi) Tel: (+995 99) 556 87 57

Tbilisi, 10 Abesadze St. Tel: (+995 32) 292 38 70 Fax: (+995 32) 299 61 71

abaSiZis 10/ 995 32 222222

Bar F1 - 10 Abashidze str. Tbilisi. Booking: (99532) 2252257


To Georgia

Cocktail Bar - 11 Erekle II St. Tbilisi


Tbilisi, 8 I. Vekua St. Tel: (+995 32) 262 61 97, 262 59 73


Tbilisi, 17 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 293 65 83, 293 18 94 Fax: (+995 32) 299 63 73


Tbilisi, 8 Tetelashvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 296 17 40


Tbilisi, 26 Shavteli St. Tel: (+995 32) 298 65 89, 298 65 93 Fax: (+995 32) 298 65 89


Tbilisi, 42 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 299 95 00

Theatre – veriko

Tbilisi, 16 Anjaparidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 222 13 38, 299 98 96 Fax: (+995 32) 222 13 38


Tbilisi, 37 Rustaveli Av. Tel: (+995 32) 299 63 14, (+995 77) 541 41 50

theatre on atoneli

Tbilisi, 31 Atoneli St. Tel: (+995 32) 293 32 38


Tbilisi, 25 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 298 32 48, 298 32 49 Fax: (+995 32) 298 32 48

Tel: (+995 32) 251 43 87, (+995 99) 546 32 72

GTM Frame

Tbilisi, 10 Abashidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 223 21 07


Batumi Theatre

Batumi, Rustaveli str. 1

Tbilisi, 8 Chanturia St. Tel: (+995 32) 298 98 89, (+995 99) 556 99 71

Kutaisi Thetre


Kutaisi, Agmashenebeli square 1

Tbilisi, 8 Sioni St. Tel: (+995 32) 292 32 27




Tbilisi, 30 Leselidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 292 05 76

“primeclass” CIP lounges



Tbilisi, 3 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 298 21 33 Fax: (+995 32) 298 21 33


Tbilisi, 15 G. Akhvlediani St. Tel: (+995 32) 292 00 53, (+995 99) 590 33 09


Tbilisi, 10 Chardin St. Tel: (+995 32) 275 45 10, (+995 99) 550 53 02


Tbilisi, 11 Rkinis Rigi Tel: (+995 32) 272 48 72, (+995 93) 531 92 66


Tbilisi, 7 Erekle II St. Tel: (+995 32) 293 64 12 Fax: (+995 32) 298 90 13


Tbilisi, 7 Bambis rigi Tel: (+995 32) 243 90 47, (+995 99) 597 60 51


Tbilisi, 13 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 299 09 25

Tbilisi, 34 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 99) 573 17 30

GALA Gallery


Tbilisi, 27 Atoneli St. Tel: (+995 32) 293 14 18


Tbilisi, 11 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 298 48 14


Tbilisi, 9 Griboedov St.


To Georgia

The National Center of Manuscripts,

1/3, M. Alexidze. Georgia,Tbilisi Tel.(+995 32) 236 41 85 Fax:(+995 32) 236 32 41 www.

Tbilisi, 103 Agmashenebeli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 295 28 20, (+995 99) 550 20 80 Fax: (+995 32) 295 17 13


Tbilisi, 6 Erekle II St. Tel: (+995 32) 298 98 56

Tbilisi, 28 Sh. Dadiani St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 97 22, (+995 32) 299 61 52

George Chitaia The Open Air Ethnographical Museum

Tbilisi, Kus tba highway 1 Tel: (+995 32) 272 90 46

Georgian Folk Songs and Instruments’ Museu

Animation Toy`s Museum

Archaeological Museum

Tbilisi, Agmashenebeli Alley Tel: (+995 32) 252 13 05

Cinema Historical Museum

Tbilisi, 88 I. Javakhishvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 34 74 79, 91 01 92

D. Baazov Georgian Jewish Historical Ethnographical Museum

Tbilisi,3Anton Catholicos St. Tel: (+995 32) 298 59 92, (+995 32) 298 90 62

Dendrologic Museum (BOTANIC GARDEN

Tbilisi, 1 Botanikuri St. Tel: (+995 32) 272 11 85 Fax: (+995 32) 272 34 09

E. Akhvlediani HouseMuseum

Sh.Amiranashvili State Museum of Arts

Tbilisi, 1 Gudiashvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 99 09 Fax: (+995 32) 298 21 33

Sh.Rustaveli Academic Theatre’s Museum

Tbilisi, 17 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 298 40 51

Georgian National Museum

Simon Janashia Georgian Museum

Georgian National Museum-Picture Gallery

Tbilisi, 23 Amagleba St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 57 88

State Museum

Tbilisi, 29 Pirosmani St. Tel: (+995 32) 295 86 73

Tbilisi, 6 Samgebro St. Tel: (+995 32) 245 77 20, (+995 32) 245 77 21

Tbilisi, 3 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 299 71 76, 298 48 11 Fax: (+995 32) 298 21 33


Tbilisi, 7 Bambis Rigi; 44 Leselidze St.; Airport, Tel: (+995 32) 250 85 80 Fax: (+995 32) 250 85 80


Tbilisi, 94 Barnov St. Tel: (+995 32) 223 21 16, (+995 93) 530 70 29 Tbilisi, 30/2 Leselidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 88 72, (+995 97) 574 33 00



Tbilisi, 17/6 Agmashenebeli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 291 00 24

Tbilisi, 3 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 299 80 22 Fax: (+995 32) 298 21 33

Soviet Occupation Museum

Tbilisi, 11 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 298 48 14

Tbilisi, 3 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 299 80 22 Fax: (+995 32) 234 86 51

Georgian Olympic Museum

State Museum of Theatre, Museum and Cinema

Tbilisi, 2 Dolidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 236 57 23, 236 57 20

I.Chavchavadze HouseMuseum

Tbilisi, 6 Kargareteli St. Tel: (+995 32) 295 19 00, 295 86 98

State Silk Museum Tbilisi

Tbilisi, 22 Chubinashvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 295 02 60

6 Tsabadze St. Tel: (+995 32) 234 09 67, 234 09 63 Fax: (+995 32) 234 09 67

K.Marjanishvili State Academic Theatre’s Museum

Tbilisi Z.Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre’s

Tbilisi, 8 Marjanishvili St. Tel: (+995 32) 294 00 76

Minerals Museum

Tbilisi, 27/1 Leselidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 298 92 89

Mirza Fatali Akhundov Azerbaijanian Culture Museum

Tbilisi, 17 Gorgasali St. Tel: (+995 32) 272 15 71, 275 35 30

Money Museum

Tbilisi, 12 Kiacheli St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 74 12

Tbilisi, 3/5 Leonidze St. Tel: (+995 32) 244 24 05, 244 24 06

Folk and Applied Arts Museum

Niko Pirosmanashvili

Museum Tbilisi, 25 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: (+995 32) 293 37 43

Toy’s Museum

Tbilisi, 17 Shavteli St. Tel: (+995 32)2 99 53 37, 299 65 11

Vakhtang Chabukiani Museum

Tbilisi, 83/23 Agmashenebeli St. Tel: (+995 32) 295 19 63 Fax: (+995 32) 223 70 25

Z.Paliashvili HouseMuseum

Tbilisi, 10 Bakradze St. Tel: (+995 32) 299 81 16


Georgia in the 21st Century


I’am Georgian and Therefore I’am European...


I’am Georgian and Therefore I’am European...