The messenger logo

Georgian Party concerned for future of botanic gardens

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, July 22
Representatives of the opposition Georgian Party state that the authorities are fighting against cultural inheritance and science in the country, in a statement made on July 21, while speaking on the grave threat to the botanic gardens of Tbilisi.

"The Ministry of Education and Science has stopped the financing of the botanic institute existing in the grounds of the botanic garden, when GEL 30 million is allocated from the state budget to assist in science. It is also disturbing that nearly 200 employees of the garden would be left without a job, " the member of the party, Sopio Khorguani said and underlined the "greatest threat " was that " the garden will be delivered to Tbilisi Mayoral and we all know how Tbilisi Mayoral treats its property. It is well known for all how the Mayoral sold Dighomi wood-park. That is why we are protesting against its transfer to Tbilisi Mayoral, the garden must not be the property of one institution it is the property of the Georgian nation."

Khorguani also reminded the authorities of the history of the garden and spoke about the possible future of the botanic garden, "this unique garden dates back to the 17th century, where nearly 3500 samples of the world's flora can be seen. It is unclear what the aim is of delivering the garden to Tbilisi mayoral. In fact, one more precedent of governmental corruption is being created. It cannot be excluded that very soon, in the place of the garden will be some commercial centre built and those unique plants will be annihilated."

The party has demanded the status of the garden be preserved and the Ministry of Education to make a statement why the financing of the botanic institute was stopped. At the same time, the party demands from the Tbilisi Mayoral that they announce their future intentions for the gardens.

The Messenger has contacted the Ministry of Education and Science and the Chair of the PR department of the Ministry, Nino Potrzhebskaia told us, "the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia reiterates that higher educational institutions are independent legal entities. According to Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law of Georgia on Legal Entities of Public Law, they carry out educational and scientific activities independently and manage their own budget themselves. Hence, higher educational institutions set the priority directions and respectively, are responsible for their funding." At the same time, according to the Ministry's official statement it is within the competence of the higher educational institutions to decide whether to open or close any scientific-research centers and/or institutes falling under their jurisdiction. As a result of this, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia is not authorized to intervene in the activities of the scientific research institutions under higher educational institutions. According to the above mentioned law, this is the responsibility of higher educational institutions.

The Government has spread a wide front against Georgian society, Analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze, said, "the events of May 26 was just the first stage, after this they started a massive attack on Georgian society with one aim, to morally break Georgian society. The authorities did not even pay attention to the Patriarch's appeal. After this the Government stopped financing of scientific institutions. Now, they are working on who will be broken down, who will agree that everything can be done through power. To my mind, the authorities are preparing for a new crisis and it needs an obedient society."