This autumn, the Art & History Museum will host Georgia: A Story of Encounters, a heritage exhibition focusing on the culture, history and art of Georgia since the Neolithic period.
At the crossroads of East and West, traversed by trade routes linked to the Silk Roads, and always the object of ambition of the great powers surrounding it, Georgia has been a place of encounters and exchanges from which it has drawn cultural nourishment. The result is a heritage of unparalleled richness.
As the oldest cultural asset in Georgia, wine will be the starting point for the exhibition. Wine has been produced in Georgia for at least 8000 years. It accompanies a ritualised art of dining with refined cuisine, an integral part of the country’s heritage. Metalwork – gold and bronze – will also play a central role. From the Bronze Age onwards, Georgian metalworkers produced pieces of unprecedented delicacy and sumptuousness. The myth of the Golden Fleece has its roots in Georgia: the region was known to the Greeks for its wealth in gold.
After the Greeks, who established trading posts there, numerous other powers would meet and confront each other on this small, coveted territory of the Caucasus: Romans, Persians, Arabs, Byzantines, Mongols and Ottomans contributed to a unique intermingling of cultures, but also sowed destruction in their wake.
A Christian country since the 4th century, Georgia struggled to assert itself in the midst of the great powers around it. It succeeded brilliantly between the 11th and 13th centuries, the golden age of Georgian unification, which shone economically and culturally throughout the Middle East under the reign of its emblematic sovereign, Queen Tamar.
Curators: Prof. Bernard Coulie and Prof. Nino Simonishvili, in collaboration with europalia.
Free with museumPASSmusées