CULTURAL HERITAGE POLICY
The protection of cultural heritage is regulated by the “Law of Georgia on Cultural Heritage protection”. It defines different types and levels of cultural heritage protection. These mainly relate to ‘Object’ that can be ‘Immovable Objects’, ‘Movable Objects’ and ‘Complex Objects’. The latter consists of a group of interrelated Immovable and/or Movable Objects. A temporary status is granted to an object while it is decided whether or not it can be ascribed Listed Property status. Listed properties are classified as following:
- Archeological (cultural stratum, underwater and underground remains of more than 100 years)
- Architectural (buildings and ensembles, castles, cult buildings, etc.)
- Engineering (bridges, tunnels, canals, aqueducts, etc)
- Urban (unity of urban structures, street networks)
- Parks and gardens (urban or rural historic parks and gardens)
- Monumental painting (frescos, wall paintings, mosaics, etc)
- Memorial (linked with the historic event of a person)
- Fine arts
- Documental (publications, manuscripts, etc)
- Property linked with the development of science and technology.
There are 43 Intangible Cultural Heritage Monuments, 4221 movable listed properties, 7577 immovable listed properties, 3 of international significance (World Heritage Properties) and 986 of national significance in Georgia. The Law of Georgia on Cultural Heritage protection defines a Cultural Heritage Protection Zone as an area, which surrounds immovable cultural heritage properties or/and is within the site of their location or influence, to which a special regulatory regime is applied and the purpose of which is to protect cultural heritage located therein from undesirable impact.
There are two types of protection zones:
- Individual Protection Zone:
- Physical protection area of a monument
- Visual protection area of a monument
- General Protection Zone that includes:
- Zone of Protected Historic Part
- Zone of Regulated Development
- Zone of Protected Historical Landscape
- Zone of Protected Archaeology
The National Policy “Culture 2025” has been approved in 2016 by the Government of Georgia. The document foresees long-term strategic vision, goals and perspectives considering different challenges faced by culture sector in Georgia.
The (former) Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia elaborated the document in cooperation with other government agencies and with active participation of general public. The strategy creation process was supported by EU institutions. Council of Europe and European Union evaluated the cooperation positively.
The main principles of strategy are: publicity, civic participation and transparency. It is based on collaboration with other government agencies and municipal authorities, NGOs. IGOs. business sector, educational institutions, independent cultural professionals and general public, while initiating institutional and legislative reforms, what in turn represent the pillars for the development of culture sector in Georgia.
In addition to traditional cultural fields, Culture Strategy 2025 is oriented on development of creative industries. This is one of the main instruments for strengthening business capabilities of culture sector and sustainable development of the entire country as well.
2-year action plan is a next step in Strategy implementation containing detailed activities planned by government agencies. The process of implementing the strategy as well as the action plan of the strategy is being monitored by the group of civil society and culture professionals.
The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia oversees the cultural heritage protection in the country, sets up and implements the state policy for cultural heritage, enacts rules and procedures for these activities, sets up the protection zones and regulations and presents to the Cabinet of Ministers for adoption.
National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia
The National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia (NACHPG), Legal Entity of Public Law is an operational institution responsible for the implementation of national cultural heritage policy. Established according to the decree of the President #533 of 3 November 2008, it was founded on the base of museum-reserves and museums existed in the different regions of Georgia.
Based on the Law of Cultural Heritage and the Government Administrative Code, the Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection delegated the following functions to the NACHPG:
- Lead, coordinate and implement state program for the identification, conservation and rehabilitation, protection and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage
- Issue permits for the proposed works on the cultural heritage monuments and archaeological sites
- Oversee implementation of work and the correct use of permits
- Issue approvals on completion of work at heritage sites
- Monitor cultural heritage in the territory of Georgia
- Maintain inventory of tangible and intangible heritage assets
- Provide cultural heritage expertise
- With other relevant state organisations, halt activities that threaten cultural heritage
- Cooperate with other state and private bodies to identify administrative violations in the field of cultural heritage
- Provide the management of its museums and museum-reserves including personal management, conservation and rehabilitation, development of the visitor infrastructure and study and popularization of the properties
- Development of the international cooperation to introduce the best practices in the field
- Facilitate of the implementation of the international conventions/charters in the field of cultural heritage.
- Prepare of the cultural, educational and tourist programs and implementation of them with the purpose of popularization and introduction of the cultural heritage of Georgia;
- create of the informational banks and united GIS Portal of the cultural heritage of Georgia;
- Prepare of the statements/proposals for the revealed objects and register of the tangible and intangible monuments.
Since 2017, the “Georgian Cultural Heritage Data Management Geo-Informational System and GIS Portal” within the Agreement on Cooperation between the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia and Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage has been officially launched and opened for the public access. The system allows the improved online communication between the central and regional offices of the NACHPG, as well as between the different state authorities and self-government bodies. The system also provides for improved access to the information on the cultural heritage assets of Georgia for general public via online GIS portal.
It is responsible for artefact preservation, conservation and exhibition. It undertakes archaeological excavations and scientific research. GNM unifies 10 museums, 2 regional museum reserves, and 4 house museums, the National Gallery, Archaeological Research Centre and Institute of Paleobiology.
It is responsible for studding of Georgian art of ancient and modern times, as well as works of art of kept in different museums and private collections in Georgia. It conducts research on the individual monuments of architecture and sculpture, mural and easel painting, graphic arts, applied arts. The Centre also undertakes art historical study of the sites to be restored and provides methodological supervision, assessment and monitoring of works. It takes part in the recording of the movable and immovable heritage properties. One of the main goals of the Centre is popularization of the works of art and of the knowledge about them. Therefore, apart from the scholarly publications, it provides wide public with books, albums, booklets and other printed or electronic publications intended for the readers of diverse interests.
Tbilisi City Hall
It is responsible on issuance of a permission of works on the listed properties in Tbilisi (except properties of the National significance and ecclesiastical buildings). It is also in charge of monitoring of the works on the above-mentioned listed properties.
Links of the main organizations working in the field of heritage protection:
The Agency’s primary responsibility is to manage Georgia’s nature reserves, national parks, natural monuments, managed reserves, protected landscapes, biosphere reserves, world heritage sites and wetland sites of international importance.
The self-governed entities
The respective state institutions of the autonomous republics and the self-government bodies implement their authority in accordance to the Georgian legislation and the functions delegated to them by the national authorities. They ensure the identification, inventory and maintenance of cultural heritage within their administrative borders and provide information to the Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection of Georgia and to the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia.
- The law on Culture ,1997 (last amendment of 2013)
- The law on the socio-economic and cultural development of mountainous regions 1999 (last amendment of 2009)
- The law on Museums ,2001 (last amendment of 2014)
- Law of Georgia on Export and Import of Cultural Property 2001 (last amendment of 2014)
- Law of Georgia on Culture Heritage 2007 (last amendment of 2013)
All normative acts adopted by state agencies must be published in the Official Gazette of Georgia. A normative act acquires legal effect once posted on https://matsne.gov.ge/en
Most of the published documents are only in Georgian so far.
RATIFIED INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS
- 1931 ratification
The Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments
- 1997 ratification
European Cultural Convention
- 2000 ratification
The Venice Charter: International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (1964)
- 2010 ratification
European Convention for the Protection of the Audio-visual Heritage (2001)
- 1993 ratification
Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (the World Heritage Convention), Paris, 1972
- 1993 ratification
1st Protocol of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, the Hague, 1954
- 1993 ratification
Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, Paris, 1970
- 2000 ratification
European Cultural Convention, Paris, 1954
- 2000 ratification
Convention for Protection of Architectural Heritage of Europe, Granada, 1985
- 2000 ratification
Convention for Protection of Archaeological Heritage of Europe, La Valetta, 1992
- 2004 ratification
European Charter on Local Self Government, Strasbourg, 1985
- 2008 approval
Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Paris, 2005
- 2008 ratification
Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Paris, 2003
- 2010 accession
Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, Hague 1999
- 2010 signature
European Landscape Convention, Florence, 2000
- 2011 ratification
Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society, Faro, 2005
- 2014 ratification
EU – Georgia Association Agreement
- 2015 ratification
- 2017 ratification
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