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Georgian National Museum “ready to contribute” to restoration of artworks damaged in fire at gallery in occupied Abkhazia
26 January, 2024

The Georgian National Museum on Tuesday expressed its readiness to contribute to the restoration of exhibits damaged by the recent fire in the National Gallery in Sokhumi, the capital of the country’s north-western, Russian-occupied Abkhazia region. 

The GNM network expressed its commitment by offering to establish a dedicated group comprising restoration professionals from the Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts for the purpose, while also conveying its condolences for the incident on Sunday.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili on Monday reacted to the fire in the venue by placing the blame on “neglect” of cultural heritage in the region by the de facto authorities and Russian occupation forces. 

Calling the destruction of nearly the entire vault of artwork in the gallery a “tragedy”, Zourabichvili called on the international community to draw attention to the protection of Georgian cultural heritage in the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions. 

Only about 150 out of 4,000 artworks survived the fire at the venue, the de facto authorities said on Monday. 

The gallery was established in 1963 by the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, at the time of the central Georgian Government's sovereignty over the region under the Soviet Union.



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