Solemn events marking the 101st anniversary of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University were opened with a scientific seminar “How can an old city be transformed into a smart city?” Rector of TSU, George Sharvashidze; Italian Ambassador to Georgia, Antonio Bartoli; Chair of the Parliament’s Education, Science and Culture Committee, Mariam Jashi; Director General of the Georgian National Museum, Davit Lortkipanidze; representatives of the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia, the Tbilisi City Hall, Georgian and Italian scientists, students and invited guests attended the event.

Rector George Sharvashidze stressed the importance of the conference, which “is dedicated to the merger of culture and industry in the cities; how to ensure that technogenic effects on historical landscapes and reliefs are minimal; how science can help tourism development in this respect; how the wealth that we have in this city can be used and how infrastructure should be improved considering various aspects.”

“The University is hosting on its anniversary day the Italian delegation, whose members will share their experience in terms of preservation of cultural heritage of ancient cities and introduction of modern technologies. The experience of a country, like Italy – the homeland of the majority of UNESCO World Heritage Sites – is very important for our country,” Mariam Jashi, Chair of the Parliament’s Education, Science and Culture Committee, said.

Italian Ambassador to Georgia, Antonio Bartoli said that cultural heritage and its preservation is very important for both Italy and Georgia. He also emphasized that it is essential for tourism development. “We have discussed how information on world heritage sites can be obtained through mobile phones or other modern technologies,” the Ambassador said.

The purpose of the seminar was to develop cultural tourism through new technologies, to re-qualify historical cities, to manage historical urban landscape, to portray old historical cities as modern ones and to share experience between Georgian and Italian scientists. The event was organized by TSU, the Embassy of Italy to Georgia and the National Research Council of Italy.

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