Artists are protesting at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire after Culture Minister Tea Tsulukiani cancelled a decree setting out the procedure for electing the Conservatoire’s rector, halting the process originally scheduled for October 10. Artists fear that the culture minister will now try to appoint a loyal rector, undermining the institution’s independence.
“This is a [part of] systematic brainwashing…” Gia Bughadze, painter, commented, adding that this “commissioner [refers to Minister Tsulukiani] is tasked to subjugate art,” which will ultimately defeat independent thinking.
On September 20, in her address to the Parliament of Georgia, Tea Tsulukiani claimed there were “flaws” in the Conservatoire management and pledged to change the leadership. “It is also my fault, when the leadership fails to fulfil its function, then the minister should change the head [rector] and we will definitely do that, no matter how some people audaciously continue their activities…” Tsulukiani said.
“Flaws are in the system”- current rector of the Conservatoire, Nana Sharikadze responded to the minister.
In her role as Culture Minister, Tsulukiani has frequently faced allegations of attempting to exert state control over culture and relevant institutions.
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