Coalition's statement regarding the access of researchers to archives  

18 February, 2022

Order signed by the Minister of Culture, Monuments Protection and Sport of Georgia and published on 1 February 2022, imposes a harsh restriction over researchers to access museums and archives managed by the Ministry. More specifically, an individual carrying out research shall be granted access to museums and museum archives only based on managerial decision. The leadership, in their turn, are obliged to inform the Ministry on such a decision.    

In addition to ensuring physical preservation and maintenance of documents and cultural heritage, the mandate of archive facilities and museums is to contribute to the openness and accessibility for the purposes of research and education. As the hostile country bases its propaganda on the ideologized Soviet history, restricting access to data enables Russian disinformation efforts and consequently weakens citizen resilience to propaganda. 

The right to research in archives and museums is enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia and the country’s legislation. Steps that the state authorities have taken in recent years with regard to archives and museums have created additional, routine, Soviet-style centralized mechanisms which prevent citizens of Georgia from accessing these sources easily, quickly, and comprehensively. For instance, for the past three years, the Ministry of Justice have routinely rejected appeals to remove artificial barriers to accessing the National Archive of Georgia, a legal entity under the public law managed by the Ministry.   

Research activities in museums and archives are the key for successful and evidence-based response to historical disinformation. 

The Information Integrity Coalition condemns the decision of the Ministry to introduce veto-like mechanisms restricting access to the archives of the National Museum for research purposes and calls on the Ministry to:    

  • Make archives publicly accessible, transparent and available for effective use by media, documentalists, film industry, academia and other interested individuals. 

  • Refrain from imposing additional barriers to obtaining public information since such measures conflict with the principles of democratic governance and hamper the process of accessing/disseminating information.  

  • Clarify the intent of the ministerial order.  

Registration Form

It should contain at least one upper-case letter and number.
It should contain at least one upper-case letter and number.
It should contain at least one upper-case letter and number.
It should contain at least one upper-case letter and number.
This website has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Information Integrity Coalition and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.