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The local municipality of Kazbegi, a mountain town in the north of Georgia popular with tourists, plans to dismantle the mosaic from a viewpoint on the road leading to the town from Tbilisi, where tourists often stop.
Mtis Ambebi reports that the municipality wants to rehabilitate the entire viewpoint area. The viewpoint, known as the People’s Friendship Arch, was constructed in 1982. It is adorned with a mosaic depicting the history of Georgia. The viewpoint is located at the Jvari Pass, close to the winter resort of Gudauri, and is popular for the views it offers of the mountainous Kazbegi terrain.
The plan involves rehabilitating a 5,500 square metre area, Mtis Ambebi reports, offering tourist services like a souvenir shop, café, hotel, toilets, and carpark, as well as the viewpoint itself.
Kazbegi Municipality announced the tender on 20 January with a maximum budget of ₾25,000 ($9,300) and a deadline of 26 January.
Update: Later on Wednesday Mtis Ambebi reported that the mosaic won’t be dismantled from the arch, but that it will be renovated.
It quoted Jemal Sujashvili, head of the Architecture Service of Kazbegi Municipality, as saying that the terms of the tender include restoring the viewpoint area and proposing a plan for tourist infrastructure. ‘The tender terms do not foresee dismantling the mosaic. I want to declare that the mosaic won’t be removed. You can see in pictures that the mosaic is damaged in several spots and it will for sure be restored’, he said.