The FINANCIAL (AD) -- ProCredit Bank has donated a unique ex libris collection to the National Centre of Manuscripts. This donation was part of a project jointly initiated by the National Centre of Manuscripts and ProCredit Bank, in which the Bank bought a unique collection of ex librises from a private individual living in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Many of the graphic images on the ex librises were the work of Georgian painters, so their donation to the National Centre of Manuscripts is a very important contribution to preserving the heritage of Georgian manuscripts. They carry additional information about the life and creative work of Georgia’s artists and important public figures.
“From ProCredit Bank’s side we are extremely delighted to have had the chance to support Georgia’s culture and inheritance of manuscripts. It’s extremely rewarding to have had the chance to hand over this unique and interesting collection of ex librises to the National Centre of Manuscripts; that we had the opportunity to obtain these very interesting examples of Georgian culture and history. By handing this collection today to the National Centre of Manuscripts we also, one more time, want to demonstrate our support for the development of Georgian culture. All in all I think it’s a very promising beginning for a hopefully fruitful and long-lasting relationship with the National Centre of Manuscripts,” said Sascha Ternes, General Director of JSC ProCredit Bank.
“The ex libris collection was bought by ProCredit Bank for us. This is very important to us in several ways,” said Buba Kudava, Director of the National Centre of Manuscripts. “First of all it is very interesting because it is related to Georgian figures. This material was bought in a foreign county and has now been returned to Georgia. We have not previously had this kind of collection and now we have opened an ex libris fund. This is also very important because it sets a precedent of cooperation between ProCredit Bank and the Manuscript Museum.”
“In the National Centre of Manuscripts there are manuscripts, historical documents, archival materials and library collections. This is one of the largest collections across the country. It has been gathering material and growing since the 19th century; this process is still ongoing and will never be finished. The collection has mainly grown from people’s donations, except for a few exceptions. Over the years we received donations from individuals, families, from private companies, public and private organizations. And the result is a unique collection which is now protected by the National Centre of Manuscripts,” he added.
“Today, one of the priorities for us is searching for new materials and continuing the pursuit of our great ancestors, who began collecting such materials in the 19th century. We also have another sub-priority, as just like this material was found in a foreign country, great care is needed not to lose Georgia-related materials that may be located abroad. They shouldn’t fall into someone else’s hands, in some cases private collectors. Then the trace will be lost,” Buba Kudava said.
“We were searching over the internet with our colleagues for information of this sort, and we managed to connect with an individual in Thessaloniki, Greece. We asked them to send us information on a regular basis about Georgia-related materials. And indeed they sent us the ex libris collection and when we showed this material to experts, it turned out to be very interesting. There are many famous figures associated with these ex librises. On the one hand, one part of this collection was designed by well-known artists. The second part is known because it is created for famous statesmen, but by a lesser-known Georgian painter. The first is the Elene Akhvlediani ex libris, the second is the Sergo Kobuladze ex libris. We did not have a separate collection of ex librises until now. Of course there are such materials in archives and in books, but so far we have not had such an amount of ex librises,” he said.
“Ex librises were invented along with book printing and were an integral part of a book through the ages. Today, some of them are considered works of art. That is why participation in such a project is very important for ProCredit Bank, and we are very pleased that this unique ex libris collection has been added to the heritage of Georgian manuscripts,” said Sascha Ternes, General Director of JSC ProCredit Bank.
The term “ex libris” is Latin for “from the library of”, and is used to describe a printed label on the inside front cover of a book indicating the name of the owner. In the past, ex librises often took the form of a drawing, an emblem or an illustration of some famous event, sometimes by a famous artist.