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Culture and Monuments Protection Ministry’s deputies appointed

By Keti Arjevanidze
Wednesday, November 14
The deputies of the Minister of Culture and Monuments Protection, Guram Odisharia, have been confirmed. Yuri Mechitov, Aleksandre Margishvili, Khatuna Khundadze and Marina Mizandari, will share the responsibilities in the ministry. The appointment of the deputies was announced on November12th.

One of the Culture and Monument Protection Minister’s deputies Yuri Mechitov, held a press conference on November 13. The deputy discussed the steps that he is going to perform in his department soon. The deputy estimated that the current situation in the ministry is very complicated, but he added that existing problems are solvable. About the ministry’s strategy, Mechitov stated that in order to work out the general strategy, the whole ministry’s participation is essential. The cinema and theatre are the main spheres Mechitov says he is going to focus on. “I have a very good connection in these spheres, and in management a very good team is gathered, we together can do a [good] job.” According to him, financing these branches is a priority. He added that theatre and cinema should be financed but he also added that there should be some results. Mechitov also admitted that the goal of their team is to make their work transparent. Mechitov also released a plan of the representative council’s establishment, where society will mostly take part.

In the meeting, Mechitov also touched on the issue of spread video via Facebook, which was recorded in 2011, where the deputy talks with photo-journalist Dimitri Berkut and Ukrainian journalist Natalia Sakhno. The content of the conversation is Georgian ethnocide and Georgian attitudes towards Russia. It became a popular discussion subject among society. Mechitov explained his expressions in the video saying that “Every country has good and bad sides, if we look through the history of Georgia, Russia has played a lot of positive roles and negative as well. If we only talk about the negative sides we will not go very far,” Mechitov said.

The Minister of Culture and Monument Protection also commented on the issue and said that Yuri Mechitov would not say the things, which in the video is included, seriously. “Mechitov is very cheerful person full of sense of humor, maybe he said those words in a familiar atmosphere– they were said with humor, not seriously."

The minister also talked about the other deputies. According to him, Khatuna Khundadze, Aleksandre Margishvili, Marine Mizandari and Yuri Mechitov were chosen according to their professionalism and experience. Odisharia added that before he presented the deputies, there were 20 candidates on the posts.

On November 12th, Yuri Mechitov commented on the issue of abolishing the occupation museum in Tbilisi, with this demand a protest action organized by the society Erekle the Second was held on November 12. According to the protesters, the museum’s existence is an obstacle to restoration of the relationship with Russia. Mechitov stated that the museum should not be abolished but it should be renamed. “Strategically we want our country to be unified; the museum may stay, but with a different name,” said Mechitov.