TBILISI, DFWatch — Protests have reignited to protect a historic square in the old part of the Georgian capital as the square’s fate is still uncertain.
Saturday, groups once again gathered on Gudiashvili Square in downtown Tbilisi. The rally was directed at investors, calling on them to stop destroying the place.
The contract period for Tbilisi Development Foundation to rehabilitate the square for the city has ended, but the work is still not finished. Organizers of the rally consider that the ongoing work will destroy the square’s cultural value instead of rehabilitating it.
What they specifically react to is a new permit to tear down one of the buildings on Gudiashvili Square, which was issued two days ago.
Rally participants appeal to the culture ministry and the new culture minister to take responsibility for the square and save its authenticity.
Since last winter it has become almost a tradition to gather in weekends on Gudiashvili Square to show the investor, Tbilisi City Hall and the rest of those responsible that people do not want cultural heritage to be lost and turned into a run-of-the-mill park. The rallies quickly grew into cultural events.
Different bands and singers performed; exhibitions were organized, as well as a market with handicraft , home cooking and drinks.
Saturdays, there were organized a photo exhibition and organized various games. There were attempts at negotiations with Tbilisi City Hall and the company responsible for the rehabilitation work but with few results. The building of an old newspaper was destroyed without proper permission.
Rallies will continue until demands are met.