Serbian film director and musician Emir Kusturica has been appointed a goodwill ambassador of Georgia’s Russia-occupied region of Abkhazia, by an organization founded by the Abkhaz diaspora in Moscow. “Goodwill Ambassadors of Abkhazia” claims to be working on social and cultural issues in the region.
Kusturica hopes to help the organization draw attention to preserving Abkhazia’s cultural heritage and stop cultural vandalism in the region. According to his statement, ancient Christian temples in Abkhazia should be conserved for future generations to see.
In addition, he stated that “Abkhazia is the oldest center of the Christian world and the international community should not ignore the destruction of monuments of the Christian culture there."
The “Goodwill Ambassadors of Abkhazia” accuses Georgia of cultural vandalism in Abkhazia. In their video address to the UN and UNESCO, the organization claims that troops of the Georgian state council are responsible for the destruction of numerous cultural monuments.
Kusturica’s support for the Moscow-founded organization comes as no surprise. He is known to be an open supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his politics.
The Serbian film director was present at the Kremlin for Putin's third inauguration as president in May 2012 and supported the Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.