Politician, Author Nika Rurua Dies

Nika Rurua died at home in Vera, Tbilisi, this afternoon following a heart complication.

He served as Minister of Culture and Monument Protection from 2009-2012, during his time doing much to add to or promote Georgia's rich cultural heritage, including beginning negotiations for Georgia's 2018 participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair. He and his team worked with Italian architects on the renovation of the Bagrati Cathedral and Heroes' Square roundabout, petitioned for Qvevri's inclusion on the UNESCO heritage list and also supported renowned young jazz musician Beka Gochiashvili to study at the Juilliard Music Academy in New York. He further supported a plethora of cultural initiatives, such as the re-introduction of the tradition of Blue Tablecloth printing and the holding of a variety of jazz concerts, in his term bringing international artists to Georgia's stages to play.

He grew up in the world of filming and arts, as his father was renowned director and artist Vakhtang Rurua. 

He headed the campaign to ban images and statues of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in Georgia, and was at the forefront of the removal of the Stalin monument in Gori. He also spearheaded the foundation of Tbilisi's Soviet Occupation Museum.

More recently, he was seen in the public eye as a member of the UNM, first as a candidate for the Sololaki/Mtatsminda district, a position he lost to now-President-Elect Salome Zurabishvili, and this year as a backer of Zurabishvili's contender, Grigol Vashadze.

He will be buried on Thursday in Vera cemetery.

Rurua leaves behind two daughters and a son.


04 December 2018 22:24