Tbilisi's rare Art Nouveau buildings at risk
27 November, 2017
Tbilisi's rare Art Nouveau buildings at risk
Walking around Tbilisi, especially Sololaki or in Aghmashenebeli Avenue and the nearby area, it is worth lifting your eyes.

You will discover elegantly curved balconies, beautifully decorated window frames or multicolored tiled facades. These architectural germs belong to the style of Art Nouveau, an epoch of art, architecture and applied art.

geotv.ge
The earliest known example of Tbilisi's art nouveau can be found at number 4 Vartsikhe Street. (Photograph: Huffington Post)
geotv.ge
Left: Dwelling at 10 Krilovi St. Right: unknown. (Photographs: Nestan
Tatarashvili)


Tbilisi has a valuable Art Nouveau heritage that has recently begun to be recovered. The city has become a member of the Barcelona “Art Nouveau European Route.”

The association writes: “At the beginning of the 20th century, during the Art Nouveau era, politics in Georgia were directly controlled by the capital of the Empire, Saint Petersburg, and Russian influence was evident. Despite all this, Tbilisi's privileged location by the Black Sea, between Europe and Asia - that is, a city-bridge between two continents - helped to bring Art Nouveau inspired architecture, an unquestionable image of internationalism and modernity that was called Modern Style in Georgia.”

geotv.ge
Fragment of painting on ceiling of entrance hall to 3-7 Akchospireli St. and staircase in unknown building. (Photographs: Nestan Tatarashvili, Nona Tskrialashvili)
geotv.ge
Number 36 Aghmashenebeli Avenue dates back to 1903. (Photograph: Huffington Post)

Art Nouveau in Georgia was not a simple copy of European models though, but incorporated many local elements, as the association points out. This architectural treasure however, is in danger of becoming extinct. Most of the buildings are in a poor state of repair. In an article, an author of the “The Huffington Post” expresses her concern:

geotv.ge
S. Krichinski, 1907. Interior of Zubalashvili Theatre. (Photograph: Sh. Amiranashvili Museum)

„The art nouveau that was once immensely popular throughout Georgia has been forgotten, neglected and the conservation of Tbilisi’s art nouveau heritage has become a serious problem. Ever since the Soviet Regime, which considered the style bourgeois, art nouveau was condemned as “a crime of ornamentation.”

For this reason “stil modern” was never considered an important part of Georgia’s heritage, letting damp, poor maintenance and age erode these buildings until they fall into disrepair, ruin and are eventually pulled down or become subject to poor renovation work, where frescoes are erased by paint and ornamental plaster details are lost.“

geotv.ge
geotv.ge
The Apollo Cinema before and after renovation. (Photographs: Huffington Post)

The article lists examples such as the poorly renovated Apollo Cinema or the residential house on the former Vartsikhe Street, now renamed Rome Street located just behind 36 Agmashenebeli Avenue. Even the World Monuments Fund has listed Georgia’s modernist buildings as some of the most important and endangered monuments in the world.

The author of the article finishes by appealing: „Tbilisi may be one of the great art nouveau cities of Europe, but it’s one that hasn’t received the recognition it deserves - and perhaps by the time it does, it’ll be too late.“

geotv.ge
Marjanishvili Theatre Café in Tbilisi. (Photograph: Huffington Post)
geotv.ge
Staircase in 17 Machabeli Street. (Photograph: Huffington Post)
geotv.ge
Staircase railing of the dwelling at 4 Kikodze St. and detail of door to dwelling at 6 Abo Tbileli St. (Photographs: Nestan Tatarashvili)
geotv.ge
geotv.ge
geotv.ge

Related stories:

Traditional Homes of Georgia: The Reason to Be Proud

The Mysterious Tbilisi Courtyards

Tbilisi’s architectural jewel -The only stained glass house in the city
Print
Other Stories
Georgian Mariam Khatchvani among six best directors of the Cannes Film Festival
Emerging Georgian director Mariam Khatchvani was selected among six best film directors
Shooting of first Irish/Georgian feature film to start in March
First Irish-Georgian co-production is about to be launched.
Popular British singer Joss Stone performs in Georgian language
Popular British singer Joe Stone performed together with Salome Korkotashvili,
Emerging Georgian director’s Scary Mother among films of 2018 to watch
Young Georgian filmmaker Ana Urushadze’s debut feature Scary Mother was named among the best films to watch
Book Museum of National Library of Georgia featured at TripAdvisor
The Book Museum Tbilisi, one of the biggest book museums in the Caucasus region located at National Library of Georgia featured at TripAdvisor,
Outstanding Georgian director Tengiz Abuladze's life and career
January 31 marks the birthday of renowned Georgian director Tengiz Abuladze.
Michelangelo’s preparatory artworks on display at Georgian National Museum
Another pleasant surprise for art lovers - Georgian National Museum and the Embassy of Italy
Georgian mezzo-soprano enchants New York
In a review of the opera Il Trovatore, the New York Times praises the performance of the Georgian singer Anita Rachvelishvili.
Georgian film The Trader wins Sundance Film Festival
Short film The Trader by Georgian director Tamta Gabrichidze, which has been purchased by Netflix
Exhibition dedicated to Georgian alphabet to be held in Council of Europe
The beauty and uniqueness of Georgian script is gaining more and more attention internationally.
Dato Turashvili is first Georgian writer featured at Berlinale book section
Dato Turashvili will become the first Georgian writer to be featured at a book section of the Berlinale Film Festival
UNESCO publication introduces Georgian alphabet
The Georgian alphabet has been featured in a new UNESCO publication
Georgian director’s film Scary Mother to open Critics’ Week at Berlinale
Critics’ Week will be held in Berlin on February 14-22, at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Two Georgian heritage sites among 12 most endangered places in Europe
The heritage organization Europa Nostra named 12 European heritage sites shortlisted for the “7 Most Endangered Programme” 2018.
Five Georgian films to be presented at Brussels BOZAR arts centre
Five successful works by Georgian directors will be screened at Brussels’ BOZAR Centre of Fine Arts
Celebrated Georgian conductor Jansug Kakhidze‘s life and career
January 10 marks the birthday of world-renowned Georgian conductor, composer and a singer Jansug Kakhidze.
Three Georgian filmmakers selected as Berlinale talents
Screenwriter and producer Nino Varsimashvili, director and producer Rati Tsiteladze and director Anna Sarukhanova are among 250 promising filmmakers from 81 countries.
Renowned artist trying to preserve Georgian architecture through his paintings
Georgian arist Revaz Adamia has been struggling to preserve the unique Colchian odas,
Georgian movie listed among The Best Films Of 2017 You Didn’t See
Georgian film My Happy Family has been named among The Best Films Of 2017 that one might not have seen by The Playlist,
Georgian Alphabet Brought to Life through Art
The Georgian alphabet has captured interest on a global scale
Kordz: Young Georgian electronic music producer and composer hits the scene
Alexandre Kordzaia is a young Georgian electronic music producer and composer better known by his nickname Kordz.
90th anniversary of Georgian-German writer who was nominated for the Nobel Prize twice
December 14 marked the 90th anniversary of renowned writer and philosopher Givi Margvelashivili.
Georgian Actor on the Latest Success & Berlinale 2018
European Shooting Stars, the annual prestigious selection of 10 young talents to watch, has announced its fresh faces for 2018,
Georgian author Nino Kharatishvili awarded German literary prize
The sixth Hertha-König-Preis was given to the Georgian writer Nino Kharatishvili.
 Tchaikovsky worked on his Sleeping Beauty when staying in Georgia
Many distinguished persons such as Alexandre Dumas, Knut Hamsun traveled to Tbilisi and were captivated by its diversity and beauty.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
17.02.2018
18.02.2018
USD
1
USD
2.4641
2.4641
EUR
1
EUR
3.0782
3.0782
GBP
1
GBP
3.4675
3.4675
RUB
100
RUB
4.3669
4.3669
Other Stories
Promising Georgian actor Irakli Kvirikadze has been featured in a trailer
National Georgian Ballet Sukhishvili (also known as Sukhishvilebi) have recently presented their new program
The European Film Promotion (EFP) presented the 10 best emerging actors from Europe
It is an ancient tradition in Georgia, yet very alive.
The most festive season, New Year is coming and everyone seeks for winter fairs and markets to purchase presents and decorations for their loved ones.
My Georgian Reality is the illustration series inspired by everyday life.
Georgia’s latest and one of the most successful Georgian films My Happy Family is already available on Netflix.
After winning the special prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA),
With tonight’s screening the Tbilisi International Film Festival starts for the 18th time.
This year marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Petre Otskheli, one of the leading 20th century modernist artists
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.4641
EUR
1
EUR
3.0782
GBP
1
GBP
3.4675
RUB
100
RUB
4.3669
February 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28