LIMEN: Addressing a Gap in Cultural Tourism

The George Chubinashvili National Research Center for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation opened a photography exhibition this month entitled: “OLKAS- From the Aegean to the Black Sea- Medieval Ports in the Maritime Routes of the East,” held in the frames of the EU financed project: LIMEN.

The exhibition in Tbilisi was attended by the Leader of the OLKAS and LIMEN projects, Dr. Flora Karagiani (EKBMM, Thessaloniki) and Dr. Charalampos Chotzakogly, President of the Society of Cypriot Studies, (Cyprus). By their sides was George Psiachas, First Counsellor, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Greece to Georgia; Plamen Bonchev, Ambassador of Republic of Bulgaria to Georgia; Zeki Levent Gümrükçü, Ambassador of Turkey to Georgia; and Revaz Lominadze, Embassy of Georgia to the Republic of Cyprus.

The LIMEN project ‘Cultural Ports from the Aegean to the Black Sea (2013-2015)’ is co-financed by the Joint Operational Program ‘Black Sea Basin 2007-2013’ as well as national resources, and is being coordinated by the European Center for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments (E.K.B.M.M. Thessaloniki, Greece). Seven bodies from six countries are collaborating as partners to this project: Istanbul University and Koc University of Istanbul (Turkey), Municipality of Kavala (Greece), Museum for National History and Archeology for Constanta (Romania), Odessa City Council, Department of Culture and Tourism (Ukraine), and Municipality of Varna (Bulgaria). Georgia is represented by the George Chubinashvili National Research Center.

Dr. Flora Karagiani, EKBMM, scientific coordinator of the project: “The aim of the LIMEN project is to decisively contribute to addressing an important gap in the development of cultural tourism in the wider Black Sea area.

“Using valuable experience from the Institution of the European Capital of Culture, the project is preparing a basis for the establishment of a new Institution, the ‘Black Sea Cultural Port.’ The establishment of this new and promising Institution is proposed as an innovative tool for the promotion of the city-ports of the Black Sea and of their cultural treasures.

“Additionally, the project aims to promote the institutional cooperation of the city-ports on a permanent basis as well as to develop a structured cultural-touristic-economic-social network, improve the administrative capacity at local level and to create the right conditions for promoting and supporting the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) involved in the fields of culture and tourism.”

By using the European experience from similar institutions and the existing networks in the area, the project expects to:

• become the ‘umbrella’ for all the cross-border and transnational development initiatives that concern the city-ports of the Black Sea basin

• create a development platform that, in economic and cultural terms, will ensure equal and sustainable cooperation which will meet contemporary needs

• promote the cultural value of these areas and to connect the past with the current economic scenery

• promote the tourism product by developing an institutionalized model of cooperation, characterized by parity between the participant city-ports

• support tourist and other enterprises in the promotion of special tourism products of each area, especially those connected with the ports and the sea routes.

The recent LIMEN project is a continuation of the project OLKAS: ‘From the Aegean to the Black Sea – Medieval Ports in the Maritime Routes of the East’ (, which was implemented in 2012-2013 under the same Joint Operational Program Black Sea Basin 2007-2013.’

Within the frames of the project an exhibition has been arranged that reflects relevant images and cultural and historic data concerning the cultural ports in the participant countries.

The photographic exhibition has so far been displayed in Thessaloniki, Athens, Volos, Kavala, Aiani (Greece), in Constanta (Romania), in Odessa, Simferopol (Ukraine), and in Istanbul (Turkey). The same exhibition, enriched by 26 more city-ports from Cyprus and the Aegean, has been displayed in Cyprus (Lefkosia, Paphos, Limassol, Ayia Napa) under the title ‘OLKAS II: Sailing from and to Byzantium. Medieval City-Ports from Euxeinos Pontos to the Eastern Mediterranean.’ The OLKAS II Exhibition was presented in collaboration with the Society of Cypriot Studies. In the presentation of the exhibition in Ayia Napa, Georgia featured as the honorary country and the Embassy of Georgia took on the role of co-organizer.

17 December 2015 21:07