Vienna/Tbilisi, 11 May 2005 - On 9 May 2005 the Georgian Minister of Culture George Gabashvili together with the Austrian Ambassador Heidemaria Gürer inaugurated the new Austria Library premises at the State University of Western Foreign Languages in Tbilisi. The newly built premises, which meet state-of-the-art requirements, have been made available free of charge by the university. The Austrian Foreign Ministry financed the library's equipment and furniture.
The reopening marked the start of Austrian cultural week in Georgia's capital. This year’s event centres on the Austrian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Berta von Suttner, who spent ten years of her life in Georgia. The well-known Austrian historian Brigitte Hamann is scheduled to hold lectures and speeches on the laureate's life, and an accompanying exhibition will be shown in a number of Georgian towns.
Moreover, in acknowledgement of Georgia's intensive interest in Austrian literature the Austrian translators’ prizes will once again be awarded on the occasion of the cultural week in Georgia.
Further items on the agenda are addresses on Austria's anniversary year by the former Director of the Diplomatic Academy, Ambassador Alfred Missong, along with lectures on Nobel Literature Prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek and Austrian lyric poetry. The Vienna-based Georgian sculptor Giorgi Okropiridze will present an Austrian-Georgian restoration project and Herbert Arlt of the Jura Soyfer Society is organising a Jura Soyfer Week.
The Austrian writer Gloria Kaiser will read from Georgian translations of her works. A further highlight is a presentation of an issue of the Salzburg literary magazine “Salz” dedicated to Georgian literature.