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Bashmet to jail!2013-03-13 16:39
Has the famous Russian musician Yuri Bashmet violated Georgian legislation, namely the "Law on Occupied Territories" when crossing the border of the country? Bashmet visited Abkhazia in late last year and gave a concert there. As a result, during his concert in Tbilisi, activists staged a protest in front of the State Conservatory demanding arrest of the maestro. Georgian experts say that "helpless politics", as well as supporters of former Georgian authorities, are trying to bind culture and politics to each other.
Yuri Bashmet held a concert at the Tbilisi Conservatory amid the protests outside the music school walls. The concert of the famous Russian violist and conductor was charitable - all funds were transferred to the fund of the Tbilisi Music School. But this did not stop the protesters demanding to arrest maestro. The reason is the fact that in late 2012, Bashmet held a concert in Abkhazia, thus, according to the organizers, violating Georgian "Law on Occupied Territories."
However, in response to the protests, the Georgian authorities stated that Bashmet had had no stamp of Abkhazia in the passport, so he had freely crossed the border of Georgia. According to Georgian legislation, those who visit the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia face a heavy fine or imprisonment up to four years.
"Interior Ministry is trying to justify Bashmet and declares that he has no Abkhaz stamp - it's just ridiculous", an MP from the United National Movement Giorgi Kandelaki told reporters. "As if the Georgian authorities are not aware that Abkhazia puts no stamp in the passport. Bashmet has several times visited Abkhazia and performed there. He is also known for his anti-Georgian and anti-Western statements. I think that the "Georgian Dream" and Ivanishvili's government has de facto abolished the "Law on Occupied Territories", Kandelaki said.
Yuri Bashmet himself, despite the cries coming from outside the building, was pleased with the concert. Famous musician said that the room of the Tbilisi Conservatory was full and the evening was a success, although during quiet scenes and during intermissions cries from outside could be heard.
"When I came out after the show, I saw a chain of police, which did not allow anybody approaching to me. Reporters asked about my negative attitude towards Georgia, to which I replied that on the contrary, I love Georgia, I have many friends Georgians, I am strongly against any coercive approach", said Bashmet.
Yuri Bashmet added that he "respected every opinion, including the opposite".
"Classical music has once again proved to be beyond any political ambitions", said Bashmet. "If there is a law prohibiting visiting Georgia after visiting Abkhazia, then it's idiotic. I know that there are the same restrictions at the entrance to Israel and Arab countries, but I was well received there. Clever people do not pay attention to such laws", said the maestro.
After the concert in the Conservatory Yuri Bashmet met with Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, who asked him to "pay no attention to all this stuff", meaning the action at the Tbilisi Conservatory.
Experts also believe that only those politicians who are losing popularity in the society put the issues of art and politics in one row.