At the meeting with the Director and the company of the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Tbilisi, Prime Minister of Georgia Grigol Mgaloblishvili said that it was a great honour for him to be in the company of that many talented people.
"It's an honour to be with not only so many talented but also committed people who have been working hard for many years, over the most critical period of the modern history and succeeded in preserving our chief treasure. We are all proud of that. First of all, this holds true with the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Tbilisi and all who serve the Georgian culture.
I am happy that despite the hard times we live in, whether a financial crisis or other economic straits enmeshing not only Georgia but also the whole world, we've been able not to reduce the funds allocated to the cultural sphere. There are the issues which are just inviolable; there are the treasures that we are proud of, of the reduction of whose funding we can't even think. I understand the situation leaves a lot to be desired. Therefore, I'd like to listen to you and hear from you about the challenges and issues you are concerned with as well as about the plans you have.
In the most critical time for Georgia our chief treasure is our traditions, our culture, our opera that in the 19th century made sure that the premiers coming in the major capitals of the world were staged in the Georgian opera. This is what we all are of a mind, whether we are Europeans or not. Our European identification and identity are determined against the culture and the cultural heritage that we have. No Georgian citizen, no Georgian government member or diplomat has to prove that we are not the members of the third world. We have the treasure and the cultural heritage that we can be proud of and with which we can introduce ourselves to the world.
The core objective for the Minister of Culture will be to make sure that the world knows the Georgian culture better and to promote the Georgian cultural achievements beyond Georgia. This is the actual weapon, with which we can rise to the challenges facing Georgia today and prove to be a success. This is so much important.
I know a lot has been done but today we are in an especially critical time. I believe that far more has to be done. Far more effective steps have to be made. I'd like to ask the Minister of Culture to make vigorous efforts in this area.
Any Georgian, whether a government official, a diplomat or any other, is known for the names, which are immortal names, for the names of those who best promote the Georgian culture abroad. So we are identified with Paata Burchuladze, Zurab Sotkilava, Vato Ataneli, Tamar Javakhishvili, Nino Surguladze and many others. They know us with your creative work, with what you do. This is the treasure that we must make best use of, both externally and internally, to give more stimuli to the opera performance itself.
Classic music has never been on self-financing. Classic music will always enjoy Government support and the Government will always be around to help. In parallel, though, new ways have to be found to attract as many spectators as possible. This will be the core objective for Dato (Davit Sakvarelidze) to accomplish.
It is crucial that we make it happen together, that we bring up and educate new generations. We have to discover and encourage talented starts of the future generation. You are our chief strength! Our prime attainment, our chief strength is the Georgian culture, the reality that we are an inseparable part of a civilized world. We are not talking about joining any unions. Georgia has always been a part of this world, and this is Tbilisi Opera, this is our culture.
I believe that this will be the primary weapon, with which we can rise to the challenges facing us today.
Unfortunately, the financial crisis has affected the whole world, the whole civilized world. It will affect us, too, but our choice is very simple, whether we should yield to it or on the contrary whether we should make effective steps to beat these problems.
The Government will do its best to grab the bull by the horns, and double our efforts to tackle with and effectively meet the challenges. And we'll do it together with you, because one of the core components of overcoming these challenges is how the outside world see us, how our friends see us, how Georgia is seen by the world," said Grigol Mgaloblishvili at the meeting with the staff of the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Tbilisi.
Press Center of the Chancellery of the Government of Georgia