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British and international organisations protest Panorama Tbilisi project

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, September 22
Leading British and international heritage organisations have sent a letter to Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili and other ministers to prevent the Panorama Tbilisi project, that envisages new construction projects in the central, historical part of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. The address has been released on the

SAVE Europe’s Heritage has gathered signatures for a letter to be sent today to Georgia’s President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, protesting against “a gargantuan new project” which Panorama had planned for the hillside overlooking Tbilisi’s historic city, which is on the World Heritage Site tentative List.

“This project would desecrate one of the world’s most beautiful cities,” the address reads.

The statement also reads that in July 2015 planning permission was awarded to Georgian businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili to build a large-scale multifunctional complex on the hillside behind his own palace, also built on formerly public and protected land.

Panorama's project plan consists of two tower blocks and a series of multi-storey terraces.

“The project has been approved by the Ministry of Economics and Sustainable Development, even though it runs counter to the zoning laws of the country. These laws state that national parkland is protected and cannot be built on,” the statement reads.

“Tbilisi’s historic city – which is directly under the Panorama site, is on the World Heritage Tentative Site list – this means that there is an obligation to provide the protection enjoyed by a World Heritage Site until the decision is made,” the statement added.

The organisations underscore the fact that the construction will destroy the harmony of the city’s natural setting.

SAVE Europe’s Heritage was founded in 1995 by preservation experts from all over the world to campaign for Europe’s historic buildings. SAVE Europe’s Heritage has written reports on buildings in France, Hungary, the Veneto, Silesia, Moscow, St Petersburg, and Samara. Forthcoming reports include Tbilisi and rural Russian churches.

Members of the Georgian Government state that the implementation of the 500 million USD project will attract more tourists and flourish the area that was abandoned under the previous state government.

However, the opposition says that the project will benefit the interests of Ivanishvili, damage nature and the view of Tbilisi.