Archeologist Kote Pitskheuri told Maestro TV on December 15 that the research made with regard to Sakrdiri gold mine was financed by RMG gold, the company that is undertaking the mining works,
Who undertook the research on Sakdrisi mine?
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, December 17
They are demanding the documentation through which the company RMG gold renewed its activities in there.
After the meeting with the Minister of Culture Mikheil Giorgadze, the committee members stated that the minister failed to reveal the documents. However, a day before stressed that the Scientific Council of the National Museum studied the issue and he had their written answer. He said that status of cultural heritage site was legally removed from Sakdrisi, which enabled RMG gold to undertake mining activities there.
Meanwhile the National Museum of Georgia released a statement, reading that the museum was very concerned about the Sakdrisi developments.
The museum stated that the activity and competence of the museum had been incorrectly interpreted recently and that this has tarnished the museum’s scientific reputation.
“Unfortunately, this misleads our society. We would like to confirm the museum’s position that according to all our research conducted under all international standards, Sakdrisi represents an archaeological monument of world significance,” the statement reads. “The National Museum of Georgia, as a scientific-researching institution, is ready to discuss the possibility of continuing scientific research in spite of the difficult present situation,’’- reads the final paragraph of the statement
The only report that is available and was written by archeologist Kote Pitskhelauri, representing the Ministry of Culture, and was financed by RMG gold. The information was confirmed by Pitskhelauri.
RMG Gold states that it carried out the mining activities legally, as the status of cultural heritage was removed on the site by the National Agency for Cultural heritage on December 13.
Legal representative of RMG Golf Archil Kbilashvili suggested that the site was less significant than other, more spiritual archeological sites of the country like Svetitskhoveli or Uplistsikhe. He said that even ancient Georgians used the site for their material interests. “Why shouldn’t the new generation use the wealth of the mine? Here is a conflict between socioeconomic welfare and archeological interests. The company spends 100 million GEL in taxes annually,” Kbilashvili said.
Locals also support mining activities in Sakdrisi as the mine is the only source of income for them.