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‘Swimming tree’ in Georgia attracts BBC’s attention

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, March 28
The story of a hundred year old enormous tree, which was uprooted in Tsikhisdziri in the Adjara region and transported across the Black Sea to Shekvetili, Guria, attracted the attention of the BBC and global social media.

The BBC relied on the Rustavi 2 channel, and shortly reviewed the process of the giant tree's transportation from Tsikhisdziri to the former Prime Minister’s Park in Guria.

According to BBC, a huge tulip tree, also called as the “swimming tree” which weighs 650 tonnes, was bought by billionaire ex-Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili, who intends to plant it in a new dendrological park being created by him.

The process of a tree removal was appeared rather hard from the beginning. However, the workers managed to place it on a barge and transported it to the Shekvetili coast but the barge could not resist gravity and got stuck in the sand 50 meters away from the coast.

According to Irakli Shanava, an engineer of the Zimo company, which is transporting the tree, it will soon be possible to move the tree to the park.

Giorgi Udzilauri, the head of Ivanishvili’s owned Kartu Bank press-center, says that the transportation of such a huge tree will enter the Guinness Book of Records.

“Transportation of a tree over the sea is a unique engineering project! Such a complicated operation has been carried out now for the first time in the world. I suppose this project will enter the Guinness Book of Records,” claimed Udzilauri.

Activists of Guerilla Gardening and the United National Movement (UNM) opposition were criticizing Bidzina Ivanishvili for uprooting several more trees in Tsikhisdziri in February. They held protest rallies and asked the Ministry of Environment to stop the process. Several protesters were arrested and charged with administrative violations. Later all of them were released after paying fines.

The Minister of the Environment, Gigla Agulashvili, also commented on the issue. According to him, this case is out of the jurisdiction of the Ministry.

“I was the same observer of this process as anyone else, because this issue was out of the jurisdiction of the Environmental Ministry or its sub-divisions,” Agulashvili stated.