Conservation Experts from US to Preserve Darejan’s Palace

The American Friends of Georgia, with the financial support of New York Landmarks Conservancy and Ford Foundation, saw a week-long visit to Georgia of two of its representatives- leading US engineering experts who came to survey and share their expertise regarding the preservation of the Darejan Palace.

The Palace, known as the Sachino Palace, is located in Tbilisi on the north bank of the River Mtkvari, a short distance from the Metechi Church. It was once the summer residence of Kakhetian Queen Darejan, seeing her temporary imprisonment there in the time of the Russian rule. The Palace was built in 1776 by King Erekle (Heraclius) II.

American experts Edmund Meade (Principal and Director of Preservation in Silman) and Roderick Ellman (of the Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers), who have worked on landmark conservation for more than 27 years, met with Georgian professionals working on the Darejan Palace reconstruction, reinforcement and geological surveys.

Meade gave a lecture on June 15 ‘Preservation Engineering from a Structural Engineer’s Perspective.’ The lecture was organized by American Friends of Georgia with the support of the National Agency of Cultural Heritage Preservation.

The lecture conducted at the Agency hosted a number of professionals and students in the field as well as a representative of the US Embassy Public Relations Department. Meade discussed the application of new technologies on historic structures, intervention that is durable and preserves the most historical fabric, and investigative and analytical methods that his company has advanced over the past 20 years. For illustration he presented his current works at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Puerto Rico Cathedral and several other world monuments.

“Preservation of cultural heritage is vital for preserving the identity of the city, not only from a historical point of view but also for economical purposes. Darejan’s Palace, Narikala Fortress, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Jvari Monastery and monuments like these are the reason why tourists are eager to visit Georgia. I doubt whether tourists are interested in coming here to see high rise and glass buildings. Working intensively towards preserving your monuments is crucial. I’m very glad to be here and contributing to protecting Darejan’s Palace - one of the few rare Royal Palaces remaining,” Meade said.

Lena Kiladze, Executive Director of American Friends of Georgia said, “Having these absolutely unique engineering experts here for the preservation of Darejan’s Palace is a privilege for us and I hope that all the relevant institutions- Municipality, Ministry of Culture and others in charge -will join us in protecting this landmark and postcard of Tbilisi,” she said.

Meri Taliashvili

23 June 2016 22:58