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Art Academy students protest

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 16
Students protesting the appointment of the new rector of the Art Academy held a rally on October 15 and rushed into the rector’s cabinet. They broke through a closed door and occupied the room. The protest event participants demanded a meeting with the elected rector Gia Guguashvili.

Former rector of the academy Luiza Laperadze was also in the cabinet with the students.

The students’ main demand is fundamental changes and reforms in the academy. They demand that former lecturer Luiza Peradze to be allowed back to the academy, stressing that the election process of Guguashvili was unfair and he was not an adequate candidate for the rector post.

The protest was held alongside with lectures at the university. However, some students did not take part in the process and attended their regularly scheduled lectures.

Student Natalia Nebieridze claims that there were more qualified candidates for the position. However, they were unable to participate in the decision process. The students protesting the new rector stated that Gugushvili appeared in Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania’s pre-election promo with his wife and there might be some private links that encouraged Gugushvili’s appointment to the position.

Gigushvili states that he was fairly elected with 8 votes out of ten. “There might be some who dislike me, but this does not mean that the academy should not function. There have always been some people who disliked our methodology, but this should not be an obstacle for us… All the professors have been maintained and we will admit some new ones,” Gugushvili said.