Tbilisi says goodbye to Buba Kikabidze: Photo report
Buba Kikabidze’s funeral
Today thousands of people gathered at the main concert hall of Tbilisi Philharmonic to honor the famous Georgian singer and actor Vakhtang Kikabidze, who passed away on January 15 at the age of 84.
During the ceremony songs by Buba Kikabidze were played, and excerpts from his films were shown on the screen.
Citizens, politicians, singers, actors, and others were present at the Philharmonic.
Nani Bregvadze and singer Eka Mamaladze. Photo: Datuna Agassi specially for JAMnews
Singer Nino Katamadze. Photo: Datuna Agassi specially for JAMnews
Lana Gogoberidze: “Recently it became clear who Buba was – even when he refused to go to Russia, and then when he sang in the Kiev metro – he was a symbol of all that is good in Georgia.”
Delegations from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine were also present at the funeral.
Buba was a strong supporter of Ukraine, and his casket was draped with both the Georgian and Ukrainian flags.
The Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Oleksandr Tkachenko, was also present and read a letter from Zelenskyy.
“Ukrainians thank Vakhtang Kikabidze for his support in the fight against the Russian aggressor. The name of Vakhtang Kikabidze will go down in the history of Ukraine as the name of a great Georgian who contributed to the defense of Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. We will always remember this,” the letter says.
Tkachenko also said a few words in Georgian. “When people die in our country during the Russian-Ukrainian war, they say that heroes do not die; this fully applies to Vakhtang Kikabidze,” he said.
Georgian soldiers fighting in Ukraine sent a wreath of flowers.
Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II, who was unable to attend the procession for health reasons, sent a letter of condolences.
“The last Mephaiton says goodbye to Tbilisi” was played when Buba was taken out of the hall to roaring applause and shouts of “BUBA, BUBA!”
According to his will, Buba was buried not in the pantheon, but at Veriysky cemetery next to his mother.
President Salome Zurabishvili did not attend the funeral and instead expressed her condolences on Facebook. The founder of Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, was also absent.
In recent years, Kikabidze was a member of Mikheil Saakashvili’s National Movement party and entered parliament as such.
After the 2008 war, Buba refused to perform in Russia and returned all awards received thence.