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Tbilisi’s architectural plans

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, August 7
Tbilisi City Council approved district governors on August 5. The governors are: Besik Kartsivadze – in Gldani, Zaza Gabunia – in Nadzaladevi, Irma Zavradashvili – in Didube, Zurab Chikviladze – in Chughureti, Beka Mikautidze – in Saburtalo, Givi Tchitchinadze – in Vake, Gela Archvadze – in Mtatsminda, Giorgi Kopaleishvili – in Krtsanisi, Vakhtang Kizikurashvili – in Isani and Mamuka Chokuri – in Samgori.

After confirmation the candidates, newly-elected Mayor Davit Narmania and Sakrebulo Chairperson Gia Alibegashvili made several interesting statements about Tbilisi’s architecture.

Narmania is going to remove the bicycle sculpture from Rose Revolution square. He says that such an ugly sculpture of an uncertain origin should not be located in the center of the city.

David Narmania spoke about other monuments and said that a decision had not been made in this regard. In his words, a corresponding service is working on the issue in the Sakrebulo.

"I'm not going to take unilateral decisions on these issues," Narmania stressed.

Alibegashvili shared the mayor’s attitude regarding the bicycle sculpture and added that there are many ugly buildings in Tbilisi, including “khrushovkas” (blocks of flats built in the Soviet Union period), which must be removed.

“The capital needs renovation,” Alibegashvili states.

Speaking about the destruction of “khrushovkas” started under the former Sakrebulo chair Irakli Shikhiashvili, who stated that a memorandum should have been signed with Arab investors that would have provided 600 million USD investment in Georgia in terms of destroying the old-fashioned and damaged buildings and constructing new accommodations instead.

However, the issue caused embarrassment and various speculations among the people and speaking on the issue was stopped. However, the topic is still on the agenda.

Architect Irakli Zhvania welcomes the demolishing of Khrushovkas– especially in old, historical parts of the city. According to him, the buildings really make Tbilisi’s image uglier. However, the architect admits that the city leadership should be very careful in working on such projects.

The architect believes that the Mayor’s Office and Sakrebulo should discuss the issue with professional architects to avoid more damage being done to Tbilisi’s image.