On April 28, President of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khadzhimba gave a speech at the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Improving the Process of Protection and Use of the Objects of Historical and Cultural Heritage”, which is taking place within the framework of the Cultural season “Russia – Abkhazia – 2017”.
Dear guests! Dear participants of the international conference!
This forum is dedicated to an exchange of experience in matters of protecting the historical and cultural heritage. It is noteworthy that as part of this extremely urgent debate, you will touch upon questions of preserving the monuments of nature, history and culture, and also upon questions of their sensible use and popularisation.
It is pleasant to see that such meetings with participation of highly qualified experts from Russia and Abkhazia are becoming traditional and that they are receiving wide publicity. It is extremely important that at these meetings, aspects of normative and legal regulation of protection legislation are to be discussed.
The rich and unique experience of our friend Russia is valuable and useful to the Republic of Abkhazia, especially in spheres such as the provision of security and sensible use of the objects of cultural heritage and their security zones.
Lately, we have undertaken a number of measures to create stricter state control over the implementation of the current legislation on the protection of monuments. Even though the resources of the budget are limited, the Ministry of Culture and the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage of our country intensified its work to prevent the destruction of monuments.
By a special decree, we have created a register of protected objects of historical and cultural heritage. It is important to note that before this document came into existence, the department on the systematisation of monuments and the study of their condition under the Ministry of Culture and the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage has done a lot of systematic and painstaking work.
The state considers assistance to institutions that constantly examine monuments to be one of its priority tasks, as these monuments symbolise our historical and cultural identity.
One of the masters of the word wrote an expression that became popular: “Monuments of culture are the generators of spiritual energy, which was invested into them by people who created them and also by people who worshipped them for many years”.
This expression reminds us once again that by savagely destroying monuments, people deprive themselves of a source of spiritual energy and destroy their historical memory without which the development of an ethnic group is impossible.
Activities undertaken by you as part of the Cultural season “Russia-Abkhazia” serve to unite our nations spiritually, to strengthen relations between the famous persons of science, culture and education of the two states. Such events contribute to the implementation of ideas which are at the foundation of the current Russian-Abkhazian Treaty on Alliance and Strategic Partnership.
State funds alone will not suffice to preserve architectural monuments and pass them on to future generations. In this issue, it is necessary to work with business representatives which could assist us in preserving the historical and cultural heritage. It is important for the Ministry of Culture and the business circles to find common ground in this issue.
I sincerely congratulate you on the opening of the conference and I wish you all good health and new creative achievements!