‘Georgia: a fabulous surprise’

Posted on June 02, 2015

In a fitting tribute to the Day of Restoration of the Independence of Georgia, the ambassador, His Excellency Beka Dvali opened the exhibition, ‘Georgia: a fabulous surprise’, on Tuesday 26 May 2015 at the Eduardo Villa Museum on the University of Pretoria’s Hatfield Campus. The event was attended by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Cheryl de la Rey, business representatives, as well as ambassadors and diplomats from other countries. The exhibition is presented by the Department of UP Arts in association with the Embassy of Georgia.

Drawing parallels between South Africa’s road to democracy and that of Georgia, Mr Dvali said: ‘Through trial and error we have gone a long way towards institutionalising our democracy based on the rule of law, human rights, liberalism and free market – the values we have always cherished, but were deprived of, during decades of Soviet occupation and annexation.’

Mr Dvali explained the aim of the exhibition, which will run until end of July, as follows: ‘This exhibition offers a memorable travel through ancient Georgian manuscripts by means of photo-art; it includes masterful paintings of a Georgian artist; it also introduces Georgia as seen through the lenses of South Africans.’ Photographs in the collection titled, ‘Georgia through South African lenses’ capture some of the highlights of Georgia and serve as a telling example of the bridges being built between Georgians and South Africans. As the title of the collection indicates, all the photos were taken by South Africans visiting Georgia on business or for leisure.

Georgia is a European country that at the crossroads between Europe and Asia and has a diverse ecology and climate. Its unique geographic location has meant that its culture – well preserved over centuries – was richly influenced by East and West. Archaeologists believe Georgia to be the source of the world’s first cultivated grapevines for wine production. This facet of Georgian history is part and parcel of its national identity. Georgians invented the most ancient of wine-making techniques which involved burying the grape mixture in clay vessels and storing at soil temperature.

Georgia is ranked 6th among the 52 best countries for tourism by the New York Times and offers an exciting experience for all kinds of tourist, whether cultural or adventure.


Open: Mon to Tue, 08:00 to 16:00

Entrance: Free

Venue: Old Merensky Building

Information: University of Pretoria Museums: 012 420 5450 of [email protected]



- Author Department of University Relations

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