"Twinning" Project


Development of Georgian National Museum as an institution - EU “Twinning” Project

The Project

The main goal of this 27-month project is to strengthen the Georgian National Museum as an institution which is enabled to speed up culture as an essential component by the development of Georgia. Besides the Resident Twinning Advisor, who was sent by the National Museums in Berlin for the period of the project to Tbilisi, from German side are more than 40 employees involved in consultations, mostly taking place in Georgia.

The focus of the project lies on the following topics: planning of the museum buildings, storages and workshops, improvement of preventive-conservation practices and the introduction of common museum's standards. Visits of German experts will bring their experience and expertise in form of consultations, working group sessions, and seminars to Georgia. Moreover, study visits and internships at the institutions of the National Museums in Berlin will serve for further education of the Georgian colleagues. Through the scope of this Twinning Project a unique possibility arises in the collaboration between two cultural facilities of national importance.

 The Components

With its overall duration of 27 months, the project is basically divided into four components, each component having its aim fulfilled through a large number of on spot activities.

Component 1:  "Support to the creation of a new restoration-conservation centre". The reorganization plan of the Georgian National Museum foresees constructing of a new restoration-conservation centre (RCC). German experts will support Georgian specialists in the following fields: construction analysis, construction planning, formation as well as equipment of the storage rooms, restoration workshops and research laboratories.

Component 2:  "Improvement of preventive conservation practice". Referring to the construction of RCC, the German side will formulate recommendations on preventive conservation.  After the study visits of the Georgian specialists, the mentioned recommendations will be driven into a further step, used in practice and drafted in manuals. The long-term internships in Berlin will give the Georgian experts a possibility to deepen their knowledge in these fields.

Component 3: "Collection removal pilot case". The Georgian National Museum is planning the modernisation of the Museum of Fine Arts, with its exhibition areas and depots.  The pilot case considers drafting of procedures for removal of art collections to the planned storage building based on the example of oriental collection. In different stages the Georgian and German experts will describe the scope of works, develop planning process and guidelines for removal of collection, will carry out the removal and evaluate the works at the end.

Component 4: "Introduction of a set of standards and applications in selected areas". The experts from Berlin will support the Georgian National Museum to adopt museum standards focusing on the following fields: public service, loans and exhibitions, legal aspects and development of partnerships, human resources and finance issues. Initially, there will be museum standards of GNM thoroughly worked over.  After the internships of Georgian experts in Berlin, the drafts of standards to be implemented in the future will be worked over and adopted in Georgian National Museum together with the German colleagues.


The Georgian National Museum

The Georgian National Museum with its roots going back to the year 1852 was established in December 2004 as a spearhead for structural, institutional and legal reforms in the field of cultural heritage.  At present the Georgian National Museum unites ten important museums located in Tbilisi and the regions of Georgia, two scientific institutions and the National Gallery.  In the Georgian National Museum over 2.5 Million objects are stored and exhibited.

After the renovation and reconstruction of buildings along the Rustaveli and Gudiasvili streets the Museum Street will be developed in the centre of Tbilisi, just as it was meant to be in the 19th century.  A further aim of the museum union is to establish a modern museum of international standards, which will effectively manage exhibitions and educational and scientific activities, collections storage, management and security improvement.   

National Museums in Berlin - Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

With its combination of 15 separate collections, three research institutes and the Replica Workshop, the National Museums in Berlin form a universal museum dedicated to the preservation, research and public appreciation of art and cultural treasures from all periods in the history of humankind. Its various collections encompass areas of European and non-European art, archaeology and ethnology. The Museum Island Berlin, the jewel in the crown of Berlin's museums, itself became officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. For over ten years now, ongoing renovation work has been conducted on all five of the island's historic buildings as part of the Museum Island Master Plan.  A core component of this plan is the interlinking of the historical buildings by the archaeological promenade and the establishment of a central, new entrance building. Sprung from the formation of the Royal Museums by Frederick William III of Prussia, the National Museums in Berlin now falls under the auspices of the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage. As the largest museum organization in Germany dedicated to art and culture from around the world, the National Museums in Berlin is financed by both the German federal government and the individual states.

National Museums in Berlin and the Georgian National Museum - two ideal partners

The National Museums in Berlin and Georgian National Museum represent themselves as museum unions having similar structures along with similar experiences in unifying different independent cultural institutions in their countries. They have long-term close and intensive relationships, as the successful presentation of the exhibition "Medea's Gold" in 2007 in Altes Museum proves. Throughout the twinning project the National Museums in Berlin and its German partner will turn their experience in implementation of the Master Plan in Berlin and future development of the "Museum Street" model into an eye-to-eye level approach. The Twinning project helps to intensify and extend the existing relationships on management as well as on working levels through mutual exchange of ideas on the institutional and strategic issues of the museum politic. With the help of a large number of German short time experts and the Resident twinning Advisor in Georgia the National Museums in Berlin have the possibility for further developing mutual cooperation with internationally renowned partners, thus facing together future challenges of the museum policy.

The National Museums in Berlin and the Georgian National Museum

The Twinning Project of the European Union

In June 2009 the National Museums in Berlin and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation were able to win the Europe-wide competition announced by the European Union on implementing the Twinning-Project "Support to the Institutional Development of Georgian National Museum".  A year later, in June 2010, the partnership with the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi funded by the European Union did have a start, awaking a great interest in the Georgian public and media.

What is Twinning?

Twinning means establishing partnerships between public institutions in EU member states, and administrations in countries that are either current or potential candidates for EU accession, or European Neighbourhood countries. The EU promotes twinning and uses this instrument to strengthen, reform and further develop public structures in partner countries. Twinning as a basis for more intensive political-cultural relationships and stronger economical integration of the Beneficiary Countries, ensures as well stability, democracy and welfare.

Germany is the greatest Twinner inside the EU, having already led around 650 projects, thus winning the bids on almost 25% of all announced projects till now.  Almost all German federal and Länder ministries have also been involved in twinning schemes.

In the history of Twinning, the mentioned project is the first one being announced and implemented in the field of culture. Proceeding from this, the pilot project has attracted much attention in Brussels as well as in Member States, since it can be seen as an indicator for the future direction of Twinning strategy.

Why Georgia?

Georgia is a country situated at the east border of Europe. With its total area being almost as big as the territory of Bavaria. The land serves as a crossroad to the neighbour continent of Asia. The long-lasting and diverse history of Georgia dates back to ancient times. The last stage of the country's history entered into a new phase in 1991 when the independence of Georgia from Soviet Union was restored. Since the extension of Twinning Instrument in the countries within European Neighbourhood Policy frames, European projects have been implemented in Georgia too. In July 2010 there were negotiations officially opened on the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union, which can be considered as a further step towards closer cooperation with the country, aiming integration of Georgia to European Union. 

Further partners

The Federal office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) is a state administration of the Ministry for Traffic, Building and City Development. The department for buildings has the responsibility for the building duties in Berlin, Bonn and abroad and is also responsible for the cultural buildings of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation like the museums in Museumsinsel, the planning of storage rooms and restoration laboratories in the Museumshöfe and Berlin-Friedrichshagen as well as the State Library. www.bbr.bund.de

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is an international cooperation enterpise for sustainable development with worldwide operations. It is a national mandated body for Twinning and has managed more than 100 Twinning projects for German public sector clients over the last ten years. www.giz.de

Project Leaders:

Professor Hermann Parzinger  - President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Germany)

Professor David Lordkipanidze - General Director of the Georgian National Museum (Georgia)

Project Co-Leaders:

Professor Günther Schauerte - Deputy Director General, National Museums in Berlin

Dr. Bernd Ebert - Senior Officer International Relations, National Museums in Berlin

Resident Twinning Advisor:

Dr. Manfred Nawroth


Mikheil Tsereteli


Georgia National Museum

3, Purtseladze Str.

Tbilisi 0105, Georgia



Delegation of the European Union to Georgia

38, Nino Chkheidze Str.

0102 Tbilisi, Georgia

Tel +995 32 2943763