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The News in Brief

Tuesday, November 28
Tbilisi budget 2018: Over 800m GEL for Georgia’s capital

(TBILISI) – Tbilisi City Hall announced Monday that the Georgian capital’s annual budget for 2018 has been set at 880 million GEL ($324 million).

Tbilisi’s newly elected mayor, Kakha Kaladze, made the announcement alongsidethe Georgia’s recently appointed finance minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze, with both officials saying it was necessary to increase the annual city budget by 60 million GEL ($22.1 million) from last year in order to keep Kaladze’s campaign promise to implement major infrastructure and social service projects.

“The money (the additional 60 million GEL) will be spent on specific projects, including the rehabilitation of Tbilisi’s metro stations and wagons, as well as parts of the (historical) Old City districts,” said Kaladze.

City Hall said in its press release that the 2018 budget was calculated while taking into considerationTbilisi’s most pressing issues for urban development and regeneration.

A final draft of the proposed budget will be sent to the Georgian Parliament for approval in the coming weeks, the mayor’s office said in its official statement.

60 Countries, 2000 Delegates to Take Part in Tbilisi Silk Road Forum

(TBILISI) -- The second annual Tbilisi Silk Road Forum scheduled for November 28-29 is expecting up to 2,000 delegates from more than 60 countries to participate in the events, organizers said in comments released Monday.

This year’s edition of the forum will also see more than 500 international companies take part in the event.

The forum is being organized by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Georgia “to deepen economic, political and cultural ties between Asia and Europe”.

Ancient rock carvings in Georgia become part of European trail

Ancient rock carvings found in Georgia have been recognised as part of a Europe-wide network of Prehistoric Rock Art Trails, giving more exposure to tourist destinations in the country.

The recognition came as the International Association of the ancient trails accepted the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia as its full member earlier this month.

The decision was made at an assembly of the association funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe. Georgia became the eighth member after Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Norway and Azerbaijan.

The Georgian agency said membership in the association’s cultural route would better showcase the country’s tourism potential throughout Europe.

Georgia’s nomination for full membership of the association involved examples of ancient rock petroglyphs — images carved into stone — found in Trialeti.

Located near the town of Tsalka, 100km west of capital Tbilisi, the petroglyphs have been designated as cultural heritage monuments by the Agency.

Found among cave formations in the area, the Trialeti petroglyphs are geometric images carved on rock formations in six separate groups spanning around 50m in length.

The figures carved in the images show local fauna including horses and deers as well as images of snakes, birds and hybrid forms.

Geometric figures including the sun, crosses and square grids are also visible in the ancient artwork.

Historians have dated the fauna of the Trialeti carvings from the late Pleistocene (the era ran about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago) to Holocene (about 11,700 years to present).