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Thursday, December 3
Symbolic Leuville Chateau will become Georgian cultural centre

A French chateau with significant ties to Georgia will be transformed into a "centre of Georgian culture”. The announcement was made by Georgia’s Prime Minister as he discussed the transfer of ownership of the historically important estate to Georgia.

Prime Minister Garibashvili stated that talks regarding the transfer of ownership of the Leuville Chateau were in the final phase.

Garibashvili told reporters in Paris on Monday that the Georgian Government had assigned additional funds to "sort out technical papers” for the Leuville Chateau, a necessary step in the process of acquiring the estate that bears symbolic importance for Georgia.

The Georgian official also spoke about the Chateau’s future purpose, noting that the Georgian Embassy in France had developed an "interesting concept” for the castle in Leuville-sur-Orge, located about 30km south of Paris.

“We are thinking about targeting a young audience after the [ownership] transfer procedures are completed. The Leuville [Chateau] should become a centre of Georgian culture in the middle of France,” Garibashvili announced.

Georgia’s Prime Minister added that the bilateral talks involved a number of offices of his Government, with the Justice Ministry and representatives from both the Diaspora Affairs office and the Georgian Embassy in France all taking part in the negotiations.

Georgia has a strong connection with Leuville Chateau – most notably, the first independent Government of Georgia in exile settled there in 1921 after fleeing their home country in the wake of the Soviet military invasion.

The Chateau’s transfer to Georgia was agreed with France in principle in 2011 after the estate was recognised as a symbolic place for Georgia and a place of historical importance.

Georgia’s Government allocated funds to initiate the transfer earlier this year.

In 2014 Georgia’s Presidential Administration worked to restore the library at the Chateau, followed by the allocation of ˆ107,000 (285,000 GEL) for the transfer of ownership of the entire estate to Georgia. (

Flood prevention work begins in Tbilisi hills to prevent new disaster

Tbilisi City Hall has begun clean-up work on the Tskneti-Betania road close to the capital, which was the origin of a landslide that caused a flood wave in Tbilisi in June, 2015.

City Hall said on Saturday that experts have finished examining the area and have prepared a report, and measures will now be taken in order to prevent future disasters.

First, trees that were damaged or overturned in the June disaster will be removed and later there will be reinforcement measures.

Mayor Davit Narmania said the trees removed from the plateau will be given to socially vulnerable people to use as firewood.

“We have a deal with a company that will begin this work in a few days,” Narmania said.

“After removing the trees, they will conduct evaluative measures to decide engineering details and we will work on that with Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.”

Central Tbilisi was hit by a massive flood wave that came down a river valley in the night of June 13 to 14. The disaster claimed at least 20 lives, left tens of people homeless, damaged infrastructure in the Vere Valley and almost devastated Tbilisi Zoo. (DF watch)

"There is no threat of war," Turkish Ambassador on Russian Incident

Despite the escalation of relations between Russia and Turkey, there is no threat of war, according to the Turkish ambassador to Georgia, Levent Gumrukcu said.

He said that Ankara would continue its efforts to have direct contact with Moscow to defuse the situation.

He also stressed that Turkey was initially unaware of which country's aircraft violated its airspace.

The Turkish Ambassador said that the meeting of the countries’ presidents failed to be held in Paris, but in the near future, the meeting of their respective Foreign Ministers is planned to be held at the OSCE Ministerial Council.

"There is no threat of war. The incident has just recently occurred, but I do not think that this stage will last for a long time. Turkey is doing everything to de-escalate the crisis. This is a very sad fact, but we did what we had to do, because Turkey's airspace was violated. After the incident, we have been trying to contact our Russian colleagues. I think that dialogue is critical for clarifying the situation," said Ambassador Levent Gumrukcu. (Rustavi 2)