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The Caucasus Mountain Center to Be Built in Svaneti

”It is a very good opportunity for the further development of tourism in Georgia. We are excited about launching this project, and I strongly believe that it will be one of the exemplary destinations in Georgia and in the wider region.

It will have a tremendous impetus for the development of tourism, and it will attract scores of tourists, of course, who will share in the unique culture called Georgia, called Svaneti, and all this will be run by Reinhold Messner, a man recognized throughout the world,” the Prime Minister of Georgia commended the Caucasus Mountain Center, a site planned to be built in Mestia, in Svaneti.

World-renowned mountaineer Reinhold Messner made a decision about establishing the Caucasus Mountain Center in July 2017, after his meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia. For years, Messner has been developing a network of mountain museums in the Italian Alps, and the Caucasus Mountain Center is conceived as part of this network.

Last year, the acclaimed mountaineer visited Georgia on the invitation of Giorgi Kvirikashvili to familiarize himself with Georgia’s mountains in the company of experts for spatial planning and representatives of the Mountain Resorts Development Company. This time, Reinhold Messner, together with prominent architect Werner Tscholl, visited Svaneti and the site allocated for construction, followed by a detailed discussion with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

According to the Head of Government, the Caucasus Mountain Center will have a significant boosting impact on Georgia’s mountaineering and the country’s further development in this direction.

“We are launching the Caucasus Mountain Center project. This museum will be designed by the best architects. In his visit, Reinhold Messner was accompanied by Werner Tscholl, one of the best architects in Italy, 2016 Architect of the Year. He will design the museum as a partner facility of Messner’s network of museums. This means that everyone visiting his museums throughout Europe will receive information about Mestia, Svaneti, and Georgia,” Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.

According to Reinhold Messner, the project is a great opportunity for placing Georgia in the spotlight of world mountaineering, the potential for which the country certainly has.

“The Caucasus Mountain Center will relate to the world the story of relations between mankind and the mountains. Most likely, we will start building next year. Your landscapes are some of the most beautiful in the world, especially Ushba, a key mountain in the history of alpinism. Your mountains are perfect for mountaineering and hiking. I believe that the Caucasus will be as strong as the Alps as an attraction for hikers, mountaineers from all over the world,” the celebrated mountaineers stated after his meeting with the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister recalled Messner’s previous visit and praised the Caucasus Mountain Center project as unique.
“I have saved the project’s blueprint drawn by Messner. This museum will be open on all sides to offer unique views in every direction. It is in perfect harmony with the mountains, notably Ushba. It is located high in the mountains accessible by cable transport. Of course, there is also a roadway. This museum offers views in every direction and is itself visible from all sides. Thus, it is a truly unique project, and I am excited about launching the project,” Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasized.

The Head of Government, the acclaimed mountaineer, and the architect discussed the details of the Caucasus Mountain Center project together with First Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Dimitri Kumsishvili, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Maya Tskitishvili, Head of the Mountain Resorts Development Company Alexandre Onoprishvili, and mountain planner Giorgi Gotsiridze. The meeting was also attended by Executive Director of the Georgian Wine Association Tina Kezeli. Along with Georgia’s mountains, Messner has taken a liking to the oldest Georgian winemaking traditions.

Reinhold Messner is the first mountaineer in the world to have ascended Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and technical equipment in 1980, and to have ascended all 14 peaks over 8,000 meters.
The mountaineer was 13 when he started climbing difficult routes. Together with his brother, 11 years of age at that time, he was recognized among Europe’s best alpinists. Messner is the first to have crossed the Antarctic, Greenland, and the Gobi Desert on foot. He has authored more than 80 books describing his travels an adventures. Messner is a former Member of the European Parliament.