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“100 Georgians” in the center of a scandal2011-12-28 12:54
Georgian press is actively discussing a scandal that broke out between public organization Union of Georgians in Russia and former Georgian Ambassador to RF, current editor-in-chief of the Georgian Encyclopedia Zurab Abashidze. The Union accused the latter of the actual appropriation of the "100 Georgians abroad" project and addressed an open letter to Minister of Culture Nicoloz Rurua asking to handle the situation.
According to the official letter of the head of Union of Georgians in Russia Mikhail Khubutia, it was his organization that designed a unique publishing project called "100 Georgians abroad" and hired Zurab Abashidze to prepare and publish the book. "However, on receiving our idea, money for the project and his mediatory fee, batoni Zurab took it all away, which is his common manner, and invited McDonald's Company as the sponsor of the book!" - the letter goes, cited by Gruzinform.
According to Khubutia, Abashidze did not even thank the inspirer of the book, Vice President of the Union Nodar Medzmariashvili, who had been working on the publication for two years in co-authorship and paid Abashidze his own money. "We wanted to publish a high-quality book that would not be hackneyed with business attributes so that it could be presented to the whole world! The presentation was scheduled by UGR for December 2011 in Paris", - Khubutia underlined. In the end, Union of Georgians in Russia asked Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia Nicoloz Rurua to help find partners in the territory of the republic who could be entrusted with responsible projects in the sphere of cultural cooperation and people's diplomacy.
It is clear from the correspondence published on the website of Union of Georgians that Zurab Abashidze established contact. He asserts that the publishing was to be sponsored and the fact that the idea of creating the digest belonged to the Union of Georgians in Russia was mentioned in the introductory part. "Who told you that your idea was appropriated? - Abashidze says. - I quickly sent the layout to Mr. Medzmariashvili, having agreed on the conditions of the publication in Russia with him. Mr. Medzmariashvili liked the material and asked us to make petty amendments to the Russian design version and got our consent. Any exclusive rights on this book belonging to the Union of Georgians are out of the question. The book was published in Georgia in May 2011, which was six months later".