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Government Will Blow up Memorial by Merab Berdzenishvili and Build New Parliament On Its Place

16.12.2009
Shorena Kakabadze, Kutaisi

The new building of parliament of Georgia will soon replace the monument by Merab Berdzenishvili in Kutaisi. The construction of the last century will remain in our memory only in photos. The sculpture of famous artist will be sacrificed to the initiative of Kutaisi MP; he initiated to move Parliament of Georgia to Kutaisi.

They have been destroying Victory Memorial for several days already. They have already taken the sculpture of horseman which is supposed to set up in front of the Sport Palace in Kutaisi. They will destroy the main part of the memorial, but reportedly they should explode the statue for complete deconstruction.

The memorial was set up in Kutaisi in 1980s and was devoted to the victory on fascism in the World War II.

“I remember opening ceremony of the memorial very well. Entire Georgia arrived in Kutaisi to celebrate the event. Author Merab Berdzenishvili was in the center of the event. During the ceremony a white dove flew and sat on the shoulder of the artist like an expression of gratitude and respect of Georgian people towards the greatest artist. The memorial was a symbol of war and love. Today they could not think of anything better and decided to destroy the memorial. The decision is strong and I feel it has no sense to protest it”, Tengiz Gorgadze, the citizen of Kutaisi; he is concerned because the memorial might be exploded.

However, apparently nobody cares about the opinion of Kutaisi dwellers. Preparations activities for the removal of the parliament to Kutaisi started one month ago and now they are cleaning the suburbs of the city. Their plan is the following- they will start construction of the building in spring and in a year MPs will gather in Kutaisi to make decisions.

A lot of people do not like the initiative of the government. Part of Kutaisi dwellers does not like the idea which is claimed to aim to make the city more active and live. They say the government should rather spend the funds, allocated for the construction, on new factories and working places in the city. Besides that, people are concerned because historical part of Kutaisi will be sacrificed to the new parliament.

“Having so many problems in the country, of course, it is wrong to move the parliament to Kutaisi. I mean economic crisis, and general social situation in the country etc. Besides that, I think similar initiative is discrimination of the parliament. I have the same opinion about Chamber of Control. When we have 90 % of governmental offices in the capital why should we have the parliament and chamber of control in Kutaisi? They are trying to discredit those institutions. There is not a single country in the world, where parliament is located outside the capital”, said Nodar Jikia, representative of Young Lawyers Association in Kutaisi.

According to Jikia, half of MPs are single mandate candidates and another half is members of political parties. That means, the parliament should allocate certain amount of money for their accommodation. This is extra funds which have not been calculated yet and no one knows how much it will amount to. Besides that, they plan to hold plenary sessions in Tbilisi, so it will cause more expenditure: ”Shortly, it will be an institution, traveling by mini-bus which will gather either in Kutaisi or in Tbilisi; it will require colossal sums”.

Despite general feeling of people, construction activities are going on in the area. The local authority stated the area of the memorial will be cleared from old buildings before the end of the year.

Kutaisi dwellers are surprised why the government chose exactly the memorial by Merab Berdzenishvili and why they neglect the history of the city.

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