Georgia Plans 'Circassian Genocide Memorial'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 29 Jul.'11 / 18:16

Georgia, which has become the first country to recognize 19th century massacre and deportations of Circassians by the Tsarist Russia as genocide, plans to open a memorial next year to commemorate the victims.

Anaklia, a Black Sea coast village close to breakaway Abkhazia, has been selected as a site for the planned memorial, Papuna Davitaia, Georgia’s state minister for diaspora issues, said on July 29.

He said that the memorial's design would be selected through a competition planned to be announced by the state commission in charge of this issue in September.

The Georgian government wants to open the memorial in May, 2012 when the Circassian diaspora will commemorate 148th anniversary of the genocide, Davitaia said.

The Georgian Parliament passed on May 20 a resolution saying that mass killings of the Circassians by the Tsarist Russia in second half of 19th century, accompanied by "deliberate famine and epidemics", should be recognized as "genocide".

In a separate, July 1 resolution the Parliament instructed the government to undertake measure for opening a memorial and also Circassian cultural center.

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