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Government supports controversial Panorama Tbilisi project

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, September 24
A couple of days ago, several influential International Organisations, Save Europe’s Heritage, Europa Nostra, International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism, Twentieth Century Society, Edinburgh World Heritage Site, UK, Global Heritage Fund and several others addressed to the current Georgian leadership to reject the construction of the Panorama Tbilisi Project in the old part of Georgia’s capital.

Panorama Tbilisi is a 500 million USD project funded by the Co-Investment Fund (GCF) of Georgia, which is a private equity fund created on the initiative of former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, and envisages building four multi-functional areas in the old part of Tbilisi. The project has already been confirmed by Tbilisi City Council. When the construction process launches, the status of landscape-recreation zone is thought to be removed from Sololaki hill.

The international organisations believe that if constructed, the project will damage the view of old part of the Georgian capital and make it less attractive for tourists.

The organisations also mentioned the importance of Tbilisi for the world's historical heritage and appealed to the government to preserve its original image.

Responding to the address, Georgia’s Minister of Culture Mikheil Giorgadze said that the project “has already been conformed and discussed.”

“Causing an additional stir over the issue now is not necessary,” the Minister added.

The same position was voiced by the head of Tbilisi City Council Giorgi Alibegashvili, who emphasized that Panorama Tbilisi was a "historical project.”

“Tbilisi has not seen such a large-scaled construction since building of metro under the Soviet time,” Alibegashvili stated.

The opposition and environmentalists are opposing the project, providing the same arguments as the above-mentioned international organisations.

Tbilisi, the historical capital of Georgia, is especially attractive for tourists, and has seen hundreds of new construction projects recently, as, owing to economic problems, many are striving to the capital to find jobs.

It should be mentioned that there is an opinion that a majority of the constructions are ugly, damaging the outlook of Tbilisi.

Unfortunately, neither the previous nor the current state leadership took genuine steps to suspend the damaging of Tbilisi's image.

The previous Government used to construct glass buildings in the heart of the capital.

The Government says that tourism is our priority and they forget that tourists are interested in ancient constructions and wild nature and not ugly, glass constructions.

If the Government continues to ignore the city architecture problems ,very soon Tbilisi will transform into an ugly, concrete glass monster with no sense of antiquity or fresh air.