IMELI

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IMELI is the old Institute of Marx, Engels, and Lenin building (მარქს-ენგელს-ლენინის ინსტიტუტის შენობა in Georgian), also referred to by the abbreviation IMELI (იმელი in Georgian). It is located at the western end of the central Rustaveli Boulevard in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Completed in 1938, it housed researchers working along the ideological guidelines of communism.

Constructed between 1934 and 1938 based on plans by Alexey Shchusev, it is an example of Stalin's Empire style. Building material, in particular marble, was used from the Armenian Pantheon of Tbilisi, also known as Khojivank, a large cemetery with church that were destroyed on Lavrentiy Beria's order in 1934. In 1986 the building was listed as architectural heritage.[1]

1938 Institute of Marx Engels Lenin Building on Rustaveli Boulevard

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the building was used for government purposes. The first independent government was constituted and worked in the IMELi. It was then supposed to house the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Georgia). During this years parts of the interior have been destroyed, the library was dissolved. However, in 2006 Kempinski and Vostok Capital pledged to turn the building into a five star Kempinski luxury hotel.[2] The suggested architectural development was designed by Berlin-based architects Christoph Kohl and Rob Krier.[3] In 2007 the memorial status was removed by the city administration.[4] After 2008 the Abu Dhabi Group took over the building, the new project was developed by 2012 by Shankland Cox. [5] As of 2013, no refurbishment of the old premises has been achieved. In part also due to the fact, that the reconstruction plans caused a series of protests by architects and civil society in Tbilisi.[6]

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