Russia-Georgian Friendship Monument
Location: Gudauri/Georgian Military Highway, Georgia
Architects: Giorgi Chakhava (architect), Zurab Kapanadze, Nodar Malazonia and Zurab Lezhava (artists)
Alternative name: Memorial to the Treaty of Georgievsk
Genre: Soviet monument, former USSR
The monument was commissioned as part of the commemorations to mark the 200th anniversary of the 1783 Treaty of Georgievsk, an agreement between the Russian Empire and Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti which established eastern Georgia as a protectorate of Russia. The aftermath of the treaty proved disappointing for the Georgians. In return for allegiance to the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti was promised internal sovereignty and protection against its enemies. However, when the Persians invaded in 1795, Russia initially did nothing to help the Georgians and only declared war on Persia and sent an army south to assist its allies after it was too late.
As the monument was also intended as a recognition of continued (Soviet) Russian and Georgian friendship, the composition was divided into two equal parts with scenes from Georgia displayed on the left and scenes from Russia depicted on the right. At the centre of the design is a mother and child, whose cultural background purposely cannot be determined. It is understood that officials from the Motherland who attended the unveiling of the monument were unimpressed with the artist’s interpretation of friendship.
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