Public Defender’s Meeting with Minister of Culture and Monuments

On June 15, 2016, the Public Defender of Georgia and members of the Council of National Minorities met with Mikheil Giorgadze, Minister of Culture and Monument Protection.

Irine Saganelidze, Deputy Director of the Department of Education and Art of the Ministry of Culture, presented a report on the Ministry’s activities in the field of preservation of culture of national minorities in 2015-2016. In particular, she spoke about the programs and projects aimed at supporting Arabic, Hebrew and Russian museums. She emphasized the importance of a project funded by the Ministry, within the framework of which, young people living in the capital and regions are learning how to knit Azerbaijani carpets. In addition, books of Ossetian poets were issued in 2015-2016 within the framework of a program aimed at supporting literature; a concert of Ossetian classical music was conducted; album German Artists in Georgia was issued and book Sergei Parajanov – Dream of the 21st Century was published.

Mikheil Giorgadze discussed in detail the issues related to the rehabilitation of the Armenian and Azerbaijani theaters. The rehabilitation plan for the Armenian Theater will be completed by July 15, after which the Ministry will announce a tender for the rehabilitation of the theatre. As for the Azerbaijani theatre, its reconstruction is related to some technical problems and the Ministry, together with the theater staff, is discussing how to solve the problems.

Representatives of the Ministry of Culture also talked about the cultural diversity event marked in the village of Duisi, Pankisi Gorge, after which it was decided to celebrate Pankisoba on May 21 each year.

Irine Saganelidze also introduced the Ministry’s program Diverse Georgia to the members of the Council of National Minorities. Within the framework of the program, representatives of the Ministry, together with writers, arrive in the regions of Georgia, meet with local young people and supply libraries with books.

After the presentation, members of the Council expressed their opinion about protection and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage of national minorities, assistance of the national minority creative groups and ensembles, and more active dissemination of information about the Ministry’s grants in the regions. They also expressed hope that the Ministry will pay more attention to cultural heritage of small ethnic groups.

The event was organized by the Public Defender, the Tolerance Center of the Public Defender and the Council of National Minorities of the Public Defender. The Tolerance Center is supported the “Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness” (PITA) program of the UN Association of Georgia (UNAG) that is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).


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