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Silk Station
Nikolay Shavrov (1858 - 1915)
Silk Museum
The desire of the Russian Empire to make a typical colony of Georgia and thus turn it into a market for the industrial produce of the metropolis and a supplier of raw materials was matched with the development of such fields in Georgia that were inexistent in Russia.
The Agricultural Society, the Sericulture Station, the Phylloxera Committee, the Cottage Industry Committee and the Local Agricultural Organization were founded with the purpose to develop sericulture, horticulture, tea-growing and other fields of agriculture.
Sericulture has deep roots in Georgia. Ancient Caucasian species of silkworm became extinct in the 1860s, when Pébrine, a silkworm disease spread in Europe at the time, reached Georgia. There was a need for urgent intervention to improve the deplorable state of sericulture.
 
In 1887, the Caucasian Sericulture Station was founded in Tbilisi. Nikolay Shavrov, member of the Moscow Agricultural Imperial Society, led the centre.
The chief purpose of the Sericulture Station was to supply communities with healthy seeds and spread enhanced facilities for silk cultivation.
The young scientist, Nikolay Shavrov, was in 1881 dispatched to the Transcaucasia to study and develop sericulture and to contribute to the arrangements made for an art and industrial exhibition of all Russia.
In 1884, Shavrov was sent abroad to enrich his knowledge of sericulture. Upon returning in 1886, he submitted a plan for founding the Caucasian Sericulture Station in Tbilisi to the minister. The knowledge and experience obtained in Europe, as well as valuable collections he brought with him, contributed to the foundation of the Silk Museum and a library.
 
The Sericulture Station, which in 1930 united the museum, the library and the Transcaucasian Research Institute of Sericulture and Silk Production, was in 1935 renamed into Tbilisi and later, in 1954, into the Georgian Sericulture Scientific-Research Institute. Until 1969 the institute was led by V. Mikhina. The early 1970s saw the onset of a difficult period in the history of the museum: in 1975 the institute moved from the museum building and the latter was transferred to Dinamo Stadium in 1981. The efforts initiated by Mrs. Irine Chotorlishvili for saving the museum met with success between 1986 and 1988 when the Sericulture Department was assigned to take care of the museum. In 1996 the building was listed as a historical monument. From 1998 to 2005 the museum and the library were transferred to the Sericulture Coordination Centre, Silk House, subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture. In 2006, for the first time throughout its long history, the museum became an independent entity.
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