Investigation Against Artist Sandro Sulaberidze Dropped by Ministry of Interior

Amid public protests, the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs announced on 14 February that it had dropped the investigation against artist Sandro Sulaberidze on charges of theft “due to the lack of evidence of a crime”.

Sulabeirdze on 4 February removed his own work from an exhibition at the National Gallery and wrote on the wall in its place: ‘Art is alive and independent’.

The investigation of Sulaberidze was followed by protests from cultural workers, activists and part of society. On 12 February, they held a protest in front of the National Gallery and collected signatures demanding that the case against the artist be reopened.

On  February 13, the non-governmental organization “Young Lawyers’ Association of Georgia” (GYLA) reacted to Sulaberidze’s case, stating that the artist’s actions did not show any signs of a criminal offence. “This kind of investigation is a mechanism of pressure on artists, the purpose of which is a kind of instruction/warning to other persons to refrain from expressing their positions on certain issues”, – said in “GYLA”.

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