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Georgia/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions

Since 1999, in compliance with the Law on Legal Entities under the Public Law, the main institutions of culture have been re-registered and established as legal entities. However, this Law has failed to fully regulate all those legal relations which determine the status of organisations under the control of the local bodies of administration and self-government (see chapter 3.2).

Most institutions under the control of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia were established as legal entities under public law, including:

  • Zachariah Paliashvili State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet;
  • Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi State Academic Drama Theatre;
  • Kote Marjanishvili Tbilisi State Academic Theatre;
  • National Museum;
  • State Music Centre;
  • National Centre of Cinematography;
  • State Folklore Centre of Georgia;
  • Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili State Academy Troupe of the Georgian National Ballet;
  • State Academic Ensemble of Folk Song and Dance of Georgia "Rustavi";
  • State Academic Ensemble of Georgian Folk Song and Dance "Erisioni";
  • Vano Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatory;
  • Apollon Kutateladze Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts; and
  • Shota Rustaveli Georgian State University of Theatre and Cinema.

The funds of state status do not exist in Georgia. Though it is the urgent need in the state funds which will accumulate the assets for development and support of culture, no adequate legislative activities have been held in spite of the permanent debates on this issue. All private donations pass the funds with the status of non-governmental, non-profit organisations.

All private donations for the public organisations and institutions – legal persons under the public law subordinated to the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia pass through the funds with the status of non-governmental non-profit organisations.

The long-term cooperation between public institutions of culture and private sponsors is somewhat irregular and unofficial. One of the few sponsors regularly cooperating with key organisations of national importance is the Georgian fund "Cartu", which has financed large projects such as the restoration and repair of Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi State Academic Drama Theatre, Kote Marjanishvili Tbilisi State Academic Theatre, M. Tumanishvili Municipal Film Actors' Theatre –Studio etc.

Other important examples of cooperation between the state (the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and international funds are the Soros Foundation and the British Council in Georgia etc. These initiatives often encourage participation of NGOs and cultural societies to cooperate in projects with central or local authorities as a third partner (e.g. sometimes as the contractor in a joint project, e.g. with the Soros Foundation. In 2006, the Programme for Culture and Art in the Georgian branch of the Soros Fund – The Open Society Georgia Foundation - was closed.

Two examples of public-private partnerships or collaborations (involving state, municipalities and NGOs) which have been very successful are the traditional international film festival "Prometheus" and Tbilisi Jazz Festival, which attract many visitors and sponsors.

A special mention should be given to the Fund for Preservation and Rescue of Georgian Historical Monuments, which is the only privately funded donor organisation active in the cultural heritage field since 2004. The Fund has the biggest share in financing the restoration, inventory and rehabilitation of listed properties. In 2004-2009, the Fund financed more than 430 projects all over the country, including 390 Orthodox churches (After the restoration most of these churches reopened). The archaeological works have been implemented on the most important sites in Georgia and abroad (e.g. Ghalia Monastery in Cyprus). The Fund also provided financing to equip conservation research labatories at the Restoration Faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts and the Nokalakevi museum-reserve. The Fund actively co-operates with the MoC, the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation and the Patriarchate of Georgia to define the priorities and agree the annual list of monuments for rehabilitation.

Chapter published: 26-01-2016

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