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A blow to Caucasian House2010-08-05 11:08
A "bad" story is going on in Georgian capital: the Caucasian House organization is being banished from the cultural center building bearing the same name. Now the building will house Museum of the Smirnovs, a former literary salon frequented by Russian writers and musicians first in St. Petersburg and then in Tbilisi. For a long time, social activists and museum keepers co-existed peacefully under the same roof and NGO even helped keep the salon through foreign foundations. Eventually, the non-governmental organization fell out of graces, perhaps, because of its once tarnished reputation.
On July 26, the Georgian president's order was revealed to set up the Smirnovs' Museum that is to become the legal successor of the Caucasian House Cultural Relations Center. The institution will get under the state control and supervision of Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection. It ill becomes the current Georgian authorities with their abundant anti-Russian rhetoric to take care of Russian cultural heritage, so the decision to assign a legal status to Pushkin Memorial stands out of the series of Mikhail Saakashvili's Russophobian actions.
It is also strange that the museum establishment is having an adverse affect on Caucasian House nongovernmental organization which has always acted in line with the Georgian policy.
Georgia welcomed refugees from Chechnya, inducing Russia's criticism; the Chechen citizens found shelter in Caucasian House. Official Tbilisi tried to reintegrate the Abkhaz and Ossetians, holding meetings of journalists and writers from the two separatist republics in the Cultural Relations Center. Georgia started toadying to Azerbaijan and Caucasian House raised money for the first publication of Koran translation in Georgian. Not so long ago, there was held a discussion on the genocide of Azerbaijani in Khodzhaly, which is totally denied by Armenians.
Despite all the "merits", the organization is facing liquidation. As GeorgiaTimes was told in Caucasian House, banishment from the building that has been housing NGO for almost 20 years actually means its closing. Employees do not understand why the matter was settled in the government without Naira Gelashvili, the Center director and head of the public organization.
"We tried to preserve the Smirnov Museum in this building and managed to raise money for restoration. After the 2002 earthquake the house survived only due to Horizon Foundation being our sponsor", - NGO members underline. For that matter, Minister of Culture should give half a million dollars spent on repair works back to the sponsors of Caucasian House.