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Because of Negligence of Policemen Museums Are Robbed

30.01.2009
 
 museum
Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti

Over 20 facts of robbery in museum occurred during last several years in Kakheti region. District police departments have launched criminal investigation on all of them; however, no incidents have been resolved yet.

According to our information, as a result of the robbery in museums, unidentified criminals took various exhibits from Nato Vachnadze’s museum (Georgian actress) and old carpets. Memorial Museum was also robbed two times. Once they removed copper plates from the statue to the Father of Soldier; next time they stole 10 copper souvenirs; robbers took 11 small Vietnamese figures, old wine-horns and various things from Ioseb Noneshvili’s museum (Georgian writer). Several days ago, Nato Vachnadze’s museum was robbed for the fourth time. The robbers took antique weapon, swords and daggers from the museum.

Before that, unidentified people stole sabers without sheath, antique guns, bronze labor tools and various expensive exhibits from History Museum in the village of Vachnadzeant Kari. XIX century manuscript of Georgian poem “Vepkhistkaosani”, manuscript of mercy certificate issued by King Erekle II and unique exponents of antique and Feudal epoch of Georgia are still reserved in the History Museum. Nevertheless, neither Union of Museums nor local authority is concerned about the culture heritage.

Although History Museum was robbed several times while one and the same manager worked in the museum, corresponding agencies, union of museums, culture department of the district administration and municipality board did not punish the manager. Furthermore, these agencies did not get interested who was watchman of the museum and whether he implemented his duty properly.  Besides that, the robbers get into the museum without damaging door or windows.

Giorgi Chiviashvili, Gurjaani district governor, did not reply to our questions; moreover, he did not know about the incident. “When did it happen? Maybe, police is leading investigation,” said Chiviashvili.

Historian Tamaz Markozashvili, specialist of protection of culture heritage, considers that in order to save extremely important exponents exhibited in the museums urgent measures should be taken immediately. He said robbers have got interested in manuscripts too and they have taken some of them already.

Tamaz Markozashvili: “In order to prevent robbery, the museum should be properly protected.”

-Mr. Tamaz, how do you think, is museum badly protected? Certain group of people has business interests in robbed exponents; according to the spread information they are sold abroad.

-I cannot exclude anything; but one thing is clear that the administration of the museum should be punished because all four robberies occurred while they work at the museum. Although they reported to the police, the investigation is prolonged endlessly. Since scientific activities are not carried out in museum, none of the exponents have passports and it is impossible to estimate exact damage.

-Maybe lack of passports also supports somebody’s interests. Reportedly, the Ministry of Culture has recently ordered to issue passports on every monument.

-Museums claim that they cannot start issuing passports because of lack of funds. However, real reason is absence of kind will of scientists who work at museums. Monuments do not have passports and it supports robbers because nobody can look for the missing exponent which is not registered anywhere.

www.humanrights.ge asked Iza Danelishvili, manager of History Museum in the village of Vachnadzeant Kari, why exponents do not have passports. She replied it is impossible.

-Why is it impossible?

-We are waiting for proper time; one day they will find time for our museum too and issue passports on our exponents.

-Who are you waiting for? Who should find time for you?

-A lot of exponents were discovered in the village after archeological works; these exponents are being examined now. We are waiting these materials to be delivered to our museum; they will arrive in two weeks.

-How can it be? Those new exponents will also be robbed from here.

-Well, everything can happen.

-Ms. Iza, have you ever applied to local authority and requested their help to guard the museum better; besides that, water is leaking in the museum and exponents are getting spoiled, etc.

-We always mention these problems in our annual report to Culture Department of the local authority.

-But nobody pays attention to you, don’t they?

-No I think they do not have time for us.

-What do you mean by “not having time”? Who cannot find time for you?

-Those, who is competent in our field.

-Who do you mean? Who is responsible for culture monuments?  

-It is not necessary to report everything to you.

According to local residents, several days before the museum was robbed, a strange man was noticed in the settlement nearby the museum. This man introduced himself to locals as a resident of Telavi but did not say his name. He said he wanted to buy old guns in the village and was going to pay good money for them. “We did not pay attention to that fact. Only after the museum was robbed we thought that the man announced his wish to buy old guns in order to encourage police to blame locals for robbing the museum. In fact, like it happened in previous incidents, the crime was committed by organized group. Nothing was broken and robbers could not get into the locked museum,” said locals.

Neither Gurjaani district police department nor Kakheti regional police department comment on robbery the museums.

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