Tbilisi’s famous monuments appear in masks - Anti-pollution campaign in the city
29 November, 2017
Tbilisi’s famous monuments appear in masks - Anti-pollution campaign in the city
Tbilisi city became a witness of a quite strange act. This morning all the major monuments in the central districts have been standing with anti-pollution masks.The sculptures of famous and outstanding Georgian writers and public figures such as Vazha Pshavela, Galaktion Tabidze, Akaki Tsereteli, Ilia Chavchavadze or simply book characters appeared with masks in front of the passers-by. It is not known yet who is behind this act, but as it has been reported, the aim of this unusual deed
was to stress the high level of pollution in the city and draw public’s attention to this serious environmental problem. If you did not happen to pass by one these monuments, then you can check out these photos below.
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Mikheil Tumanishvili, Georgian theater director

The critical environmental issue in the country is not a novelty, as a reminder the volume of harmful substances in the air in cities and towns of Georgia in 2016 was higher than permissible, according to Georgia’s Ministry of Environment. According to the report of the same year of the Ministry of Environment, the major causes of air pollution are transport, energy, industry, agriculture, and waste. As Numbeo ,the world's largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide states, currently the pollution index in the country amounts to 76.80, that is considered quite high figure.
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Evgeni Mikeladze, leading Georgian orchestra conductor of the 1930s

Famous Georgian photographer Goga Chanadiri captured some of the major monuments wearing masks and spread them on social network,while rest of the photos were provided by Tbilisi citizens.

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Outstanding Georgian writers and public figures Ilia Chavchavadze and Akaki Tsereteli

“The statues of some of the most famous Georgian poets and writers are standing with gauze facial masks on and it’s not hard to understand the idea behind this protest. It is becoming almost impossible to breathe in this city, as the exhaust fumes are everywhere.
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Davit Guramishvili, Georgian poet who wrote the finest pieces of pre-Romantic Georgian literature

I want to thank everyone behind this campaign and yes, this is a fair and understandable protest against the fact that many people suffer from various, even terminal diseases because of the air being so polluted.
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Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Georgian writer and public figure

If you don’t mind about your own health, mind at least your children’s wellbeing. Let’s do everything for the air in Tbilisi to be clearer”, - The photographer has reported on his Facebook account.
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Galaktion Tabidze, leading Georgian poet of the twentieth century

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Vazha-Pshavela, prominent Georgian author of 19th-20th century

The campaign received varied feedback and reactions from the society. The protest was followed by a comment from the city’s vice-mayor, who said that this campaign was not sanctioned by the city hall and that it is inadmissible to ‘offend’ the statues of the famous people like that.
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Georgian writer Ilia Chavchavadze

"The people who wanted to express their opinion should have done that in a more decent manner and not by offending the statues. This means we will react to this campaign in a relevant way, because it is absolutely inadmissible for us as well as for our society. We will act according to the law and the perpetrators will be fined if that is what the law envisages",- City’s vice-mayor has noted.

Related stories:

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