On Germany’s invitation, the Prime Minister of Georgia visited the Dresden Gallery to attend the depositing ceremony of Still Life with a Hare, a 17th century painting by Pietro Francesco Cittadini, which the Prime Minister of Georgia handed to Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany during her visit to Tbilisi a few months ago.
This painting, owned by the Dresden Gallery and considered lost since 1945, was discovered in a private collection, with the Government subsequently engaging in the return of the oil painting to its rightful owner.
“A famous still life painting is returning to your beautiful historic museum today, and I take it as the restoration of historical justice. We discovered this painting by accident in the private collection of one of our citizens. The painting was brought to Georgia by a certain Soviet army officer decades ago. The private collector exhibited good will and handed over the painting, which was later given to Madam Chancellor during her visit to Georgia. This work previously, for decades, adorned the exhibition spaces of Dresden, and I am convinced that it will continue to serve to serve as your city’s calling card in the years to come. At the same time, this day is yet another demonstration of the historical friendship between the Georgian and German nations,” the Prime Minister said.
According to the Head of Government, Germany invariably supports Georgia at every stage of the country’s development, including in the political, defense, economic, legal, cultural, and educational fields.
“I would like to reiterate gratitude to the Government of Germany and the German people for this support. Historically and culturally, Georgia is part of European civilization. I am convinced that Georgia will successfully complete its convincing path toward European integration to return to its historical European family. Once again, thank you for hospitality. This day is about restoring historical justice, and I congratulate all of you,” the Prime Minister addressed the audience at the museum.
For the ceremony, the Prime Minister was joined by the Speaker of the Parliament of Saxony. Matthias Rossler thanked Mamuka Bakhtadze for returning the painting believed to be lost for years and praised this fact as another strong demonstration of the friendly relations between the two countries.
During the ceremony, the painting’s story was discussed by the museum’s leadership who also emphasized that almost 500 exhibits went missing from the Dresden Museum, with only 56 of them reclaimed so far. Cittadini’s oil painting is displayed for the public in the Alte Meister Gallery of the museum.