UK/GE: Heritage Award Ceremony

The UK/Georgia 2019 Season and National Trust of Georgia presented the Heritage Award Ceremony in the Silk Museum on the evening of October 30. The 2019 season of UK/Georgia included the Heritage Awards for the first time – but the celebration is expected to become a tradition from here on in, encouraging Georgians to keep their unique heritage for the sake of the country and the world.

Within the frames of the UK-Georgia Season, the ‘My Heritage’ Awards rewarded those who show sensitivity and intelligence in saving their own personal heritage, usually in their own homes.

Photos of all eight winners’ achievements were on display at the event in the hope that others will be inspired to follow their example. A unique presentation was given by Lela Ninoshvili, a wall-painting restorer who won first prize. She had also worked in the home of one of the runners up and could readily be described as a new ‘saviour’ of Georgian heritage.

“Our objective was to encourage the people who made particular efforts to save Georgian cultural heritage,” Marine Mizandari, the Co-chair of the National Trust of Georgia, told GEORGIA TODAY, noting that while Georgia faces some challenges in the awareness of the country’s heritage preservation, the Awards have had a positive impact on society, and will “hopefully include more and more people as the years go by.”

The five main prizes and three highly commended ones were presented by HE Justin McKenzie Smith, British Ambassador to Georgia, who reviewed the importance of such an awards ceremony for Georgia today.

“We are very pleased to support this exciting new initiative as a part of the UK Season in Georgia 2019. We have seen some incredible projects of restoration and renovation from all across Georgia – from Racha to Kakheti, while Tbilisi was included, of course,” the British Ambassador said. He also revealed what he had found most exciting about the ‘My Heritage’ Award.

“What I found most incredible about the project is that it has been carried out by the younger generation and that says to me that Georgia’s priceless cultural and architectural heritage is in very good hands for the future.”

This is the first ever Heritage Awards project ‘My Heritage,’ launched by the National Trust of Georgia, in association with the British Embassy Georgia. The National Trust of Georgia is a new organization linked to the large and highly successful National Trust of Great Britain. Its aim is to connect Georgians with the growing trend of preserving cultural and natural heritage.

The competition will be repeated annually, encouraging all Georgian generations to preserve the country’s heritage. This Awards, above all, shows the strong ties of friendship between the two countries; Britain’s support of Georgia, and the respect the United Kingdom has for the country’s rich culture and traditions.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

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