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Scandal Surrounding the National Museum Continues

Published: November 6, 2013 | 11:45 am
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The scandal surrounding the National Museum continues. TV3 has found out that a special commission established by the Ministry of Culture has been studying the state of the exhibits since June. The case concerns works that were taken out of the country between 2004 and 2012.
The Ministry of Culture has received numerous letters about specific breaches at the National Museum, which formed the groundwork for the establishment of the temporary commission. One of the letters was written by Rezo Amashukeli and his daughter Baia.
Member of the commission Gogi Khoshtaria has described the allegations as unfounded, stating that there is no reason for the public to doubt the authenticity of the Pirosmani canvases which he personally had been analysing.
Prior to the establishment of the temporary commission, the State Audit Service was working in the museum. It has transpired from the latter’s report that the inventory conducted in 2007-2012 revealed the absence of 274 exhibits from the Janashia and Art Museums, as well as the National Gallery funds. The National Museum had released an official response to the audit’s report.
The museum’s administration has declined to make any additional comments. However, according to a statement from the Ministry of Culture, the audit’s report does not reflect the full picture, since the funds’ inventory is still being finalised, and many of the exhibits might be found not to be missing. The State Audit’s report became a subject of interest from the journalist Nata Tarhan-Mouravi.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation which began on 25 March 2013 based on the materials sent in by the Audit Service is still ongoing.

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