Representatives of The Rothschild Foundation at the Georgian National Museum

16 June 2014

Representatives of The Rothschild Foundation Mrs. Sophie Hirst and Mr. Jack Lohman visited Georgian National Museum on June 16th, 2014.

The main purpose of the visit was to learn about the activities of the Georgian National Museum. It has to be noted that planed cooperation project is the first precedent of collaboration between Georgia and the world's largest scientific foundation. The Rothschild Foundation provided a one-year grant for the Georgian National museum's project "Jewish cultural heritage collections in the Georgian National Museum and renovation of the Jewish Museum in Georgia." Author and coordinator of the project is curator of the temporary exhibitions at the Georgian National Museum Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts, doctor of Art History Mrs. Lela Tsitsuashvili.

Full scientific study of the Jewish collections, their further restoration, preservation and digitalization is planned in the framework of the Rothschild scientific grant. Project also includes organization of the different educational programs and public lectures.

In recent years, a large part of the Georgian National Museum's Jewish collections were examined, and restored. The collection includes paintings and drawings, old clothes, textiles, religious and everyday objects. Since 2006, the Georgian National Museum organized five temporary exhibitions of Jewish collections and published four catalogs.

The Rothschilds

Taking their name from the house of their 16th century ancestors, "zum roten Schild" (at the sign of the red shield) in Frankfurt's Jewish ghetto, they became one of the wealthiest and most powerful 19th century dynasties; bankers to monarchs and governments, builders of great houses and collectors of the finest art. Mayer Amschel (1744-1812), who founded the banking business, came from a modest merchant family who set up as a dealer in antique coins before becoming Court Agent to William, the future Elector of Hesse.

As the business expanded into trading government bonds and textiles, Mayer Amschel drew his five sons into the business, the "five arrows" of the family crest, who went on to establish the family name in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna and Naples. A key figure in the family's expansion was Mayer Amschel's third son, Nathan (1777-1836), who set up NM Rothschild and Sons in London, and their financial future was assured when they won the contract to fund the Duke of Wellington's army during the Napoleonic campaign. In 1822 the brothers were made Barons by the Austrian Emperor. Their coat of arms is quartered with a fist holding the five arrows, symbolizing the brothers and their unity. Their motto, "Concordia, Integritas, Industria" refers to the qualities which lead to their success; unity, integrity and hard work.

Lord Rothschild's family supports three philanthropic trusts:The Rothschild Foundation focusses solely on the UK and spans a wide range of charitable activities including the arts, heritage and culture; health care and medical research; social welfare and human rights; housing; conservation and horticulture.

In Israel, Yad Hanadiv, continues support for Jewish revival in Palestine begun by Baron Edmond de Rothschild in the second half of the 19th century. In addition to its diverse grantmaking, Yad Hanadiv funds the operation of the Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park and Memorial Gardens, and is cooperating with the National Library in planning a state-of-the-art, 21st century National Library for the State of Israel.

The Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe supports initiatives across Europe and continues the family's philanthropic commitment to Jewish causes. Lord Rothschild serves as our President and Sir Victor Blank is the Chair of Trustees.