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Nika Rurua: “Pirosmani’s Painting Was Illegally Put Up for Action”

According to the statement of the Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia Nika Rurua, Pirosmani’s painting “Shepherd with a Sheepskin Cloak on a Red Background” was illegally put up for London Auction.

“Pirosmani’s painting had a status of cultural monument. It could have left country only by the agreement with the Minister of Culture which never took place. How it happened to be taken abroad, is completely vague,” – Minister stated.

The painting was sold for 600 000 pound sterlings (million and a half) at London Auction. The director of Niko Pirosmanashvili house museum Anzor Madzgharashvili notified Kakheti Information Center on the following. According to him, for years the painting was preserved in the family of famous Georgian painter Davit Kakabadze.

“Kakabadze had 5-6 painting at home. Several years ago, Kakabadzes gave out the painting “Shepherd” as a gift in Riga. This summer one of the largest companies of London issued an advertisement on the items to be put up for the auction. The advertisement mentioned Pirosmani’s “Shepherd.” Before this painting was sold out at the auction, I notified the Minister of Culture of Georgia that it was put up for auction, but nobody paid attention,” – Madzgharashvili stated to Kakheti Information Center.

Mariam Kakabadze, grandchild of famous painter Davit Kakabadze stated that Pirosmani’s Shepherd with a Sheepskin Cloak on a Red Background which was kept in their families for years was not given away illegally.

“In that period there was law regulating the alienation of cultural monuments. New law has been taking force since 2007. This is very true and I support it because absolutely all art exponents are state ownership. However, since the fact of gifting took place before the adoption of the law, it cannot cover this case. I do not know why the painting was given out,” – Mariam Kakabadze stated.

Kakheti Information Center

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