Apollo Magazine about State Silk Museum Tbilisi
13 February, 2020
Apollo Magazine about State Silk Museum Tbilisi
The English language monthly magazine Apollo covering visual arts of all periods from antiquity to present day publishes an article about the State Silk Museum in Tbilisi. "Few visitors to Tbilisi, Georgia’s charming, crumbling capital, know that the city holds the world’s most significant collection of silkworm cocoons."
The article describes Georgia as a country that has a gobsmacking nature and gob-filling feasts. As for the museum, the author notes that it has an esoteric delight of the late 19th century.

The museum is housed in a fine red brick building of 1891, but unfortunately, it is overshadowed by a huge Soviet football stadium. What is worth mentioning is that the author draws a very captivating parallel between these two.

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Photo: Pablo Ferrari

" Together, this structure and the museum – which is almost tucked beneath the stands – present a tableau of two fallen empires, side by side, as the city of Tbilisi grows and changes around them."

As the author continues to describe the museum, he says that it is an accurate definition of the Tbilisi with energy shortages and wood-burning stoves poking out of once-glamorous homes. Although the fact that the museum is untouched makes it more special.

Alexander Szymkiewicz, a Polish architect who built many of the city’s landmarks and Nikolai Shavrov, the first director of the Caucasian Sericulture Station are the most responsible for the museum.

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A cardboard presentation case for storing silkworm eggs. State Silk Museum, Tbilisi. Photo: Guram Kapanadze

"In the mid ’90s – a time of chaos and war in Georgia – a group of young textile artists discovered the Silk Museum, which, having been shuttered from the 1960s to the ’80s, was then part of a moribund and bankrupt national institute. The museum was clinging on through the efforts of its elderly director, Irina Chotorlishvili. She understood the importance and integrity of the collection, and joined forces with the textile artists – one of whom, Nino Kuprava, is the current director. The team fought resolutely to keep the collection together, housed in its purpose-built location. After seeing off eager developers, and the neighbouring stadium’s idea for a football-themed hotel, the Silk Museum was finally brought under the protection of the Ministry of Culture in 2006."

Read the full article here

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