Nation of Georgia Marks Independence Anniversary With Bronze Reagan Statue

The post-Soviet satellite will unveil the statue -- not far from George W. Bush street -- on Wednesday

reag nov22 p.jpg

A bronze statue of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan sits on a bench in Tbilisi / YouTube

This year, the world marks the 20th anniversary of the Soviet empire going belly up. No less importantly, on November 23, Georgia will be marking St. George's Day and the eighth anniversary of the 2003 Rose Revolution. So, what better way to celebrate all three events than to unveil a monument to Ronald Reagan in downtown Tbilisi?

Tbilisi residents strolling in one downtown park will soon find the crusader against the "evil empire" sitting casually on a bench with crossed legs, and gesturing for passers-by to join him for a chat; probably on the ills of Communism or the merits of economic deregulation.

Both topics have many a fan in the Georgian government and sympathetic circles -- could we be seeing soon some familiar faces seated alongside the 40th US president?

There is definitely enough room on the bronze bench for enthusiasts to sit down and take photos with the life-size monument, as the pro-government Rustavi2 national broadcaster encouragingly notes. The sculpture is emblazoned with the Reagan-attributed quote "Freedom Is Never More than One Generation Away from Extinction."

Granted, other ex-Communist countries also have commemorated Reagan, but Georgia clearly has a thing for US presidents, dead or alive.  

Travelers arrive and leave eastern Tbilisi via George W. Bush Street, which features the 43rd president waving a hand from a placard to outbound traffic. George W. may have earned the honor largely for swinging by in 2005 to say hi to Georgia as a "beacon of democracy," in his own words.

To balance out the message-making, though, you might think that Georgia, which counts heavily on diplomatic support from Washington, some day might need a wave from or a chat with a Democratic US president, too. But, as of now, no news about plans for an Obama turnpike or a JFK bust.

Presented by

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Global

Just In