Yesterday, on 4th of July, the second and final stage of the international competition for the position of the Director of the State Museum of Arts named after I.V. Savitsky took place. Six candidates were presented to the expert council. According to the results of the presentations and interviews the winner of the competition was identified. Tigran Mkrtychev became the winner. International competition Open Call was organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan together with Art and Culture Development Foundation under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The competition was held in accordance with the Museum Renovation Program, approved by the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated August 26, 2018 (PD №3920). The choice of the Director of one of the most famous avant-garde museums in the world will also be the choice of a new way of development and unique collection preservation. Competition was held among the citizens of Uzbekistan as well as citizens of other countries. Candidate should have skills and knowledge in the sphere of museum science, public affairs, administrative issues and financing. The Competition rules, procedures and documentation can be accessed through the official website of the Foundation following the link: https://acdf.uz/news/34.

According to the results of the first stage of the competition six candidates were indicated. They were employees of cultural institutions in different countries: Thibaut de Ruyter (Germany), Tigran Mkrtychev (Russia), Sergey Pilyak (Russia), Gulshat Baimuratova (Kazakhstan), Oktyabr Dospanov (Karakalpakstan), Irina Petrushina (Karakalpakstan). The candidates presented their presentations to the expert council and had a face-to-face interviews in Nukus in the Museum named after I.V.Savitsky itself.

The expert council includes:

Bakhtiyor Sayfullaevich Sayfullaev - Minister of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan;

Zelfira Ismailovna Tregulova - Director of the State Tretyakov Gallery;

Manfred Nawroth - Curator, State Museums of Berlin;

Stuart Mather Gibson - UNESCO senior international advisor on museums, archaeology and cultural policy;

Marinika Maratovna Babanazarova - Deputy chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Zelfira Tregulova, Director of the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow:

- The State Museum of Arts named after I.V.Savitsky in Nukus has an excellent collection, good infrastructure and big potential for development; it is a museum with history and name. I am glad, that the leadership of the Republic of Uzbekistan decided to make open international competition for the post of the Director of the museum. Surely, the competition will attract the best professionals, who will open a new page in the history of this institution.

The competition was held in accordance with the protocol. Each candidate presented his or her vision of the Museum and its concept. After the presentation, candidates replied to the questions of members of the expert council. After discussion and summing up the points and signing the Protocol, the winner of the competition was announced. Tigran Mkrtychev became the winner of the competition with the highest score (430 points).

For reference: Tigran Mkrtychev. (Moscow, Russia) starting from 2017 up to present is the director of the Rerichov Museum – branch of the FSBIC State Museum of Eastern nations (Deputy General Director). 2005-2017 – Deputy Director on scientific work FSBIC National Museum of Art of Eastern Nations MK RF; curator (member of the working group) of more than 20 exhibitions in the State Museum of Art of Eastern nations, Rerichov Museum, State Museum of fine arts named after Pushkin, Reis Engelhorn Museum (Mannheim, Germany), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA), Museum of Fine Arts Turkmenistan (Ashxabad) and others; member of Moscow Union of Artists – from 2012; leader of archaeological expeditions in Uzbekistan (Durmontepa hillfort, Samarkand; Varakhsha hillfort, Bukhara; Kara-tepe monument, Termez; Kampir-tepa hillfort, Termez), Tuva, Russia (monument of Por-Bajin), Cinzano Uygur AO China (Sengim hillfort, Turfan) – 1994 – 2008; Member of Buyuk Kelajak expert council (the Republic of Uzbekistan) – from 2018. Awards: 2002 -  Honored worker of culture of the Russian Federation.

After the results were announced, Tigran Mkrtychev shared with his impressions:

First of all, I wanted to emphasize that with this position a huge responsibility comes. There will be a lot of hard work. I would like to express my hope that the staff of the museum and the leadership of the country, as well as my colleagues around the world, will assist me in the implementation of all the ideas mentioned during my presentation. After all, the museum named after Savitsky is a part of the cultural heritage of all mankind, not only Uzbekistan.

The member of the expert council, Marinika Babanazarova, also shared her opinion regarding the competition itself and the winner.

Marinika Babanazarova, Deputy Chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan:

- In my opinion, today was a great event in the history of a cultural life of our country. For the first time, a candidate for the position of a director of one of the most famous museums in Uzbekistan was chosen by open vote. It implies that democratic conditions are created in the country for choosing a decent candidate for a leading position in museum. The format of selecting a person for the position of director is unusual thing for us, but globally recognized practice. And I encourage the transparency and openness of the competition, which was conducted in innovative way. This is a great merit of Art and Culture Development Foundation under the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Uzbekistan. Moreover, it is a pleasure to be among representatives of the expert council. Through our questions to candidates we tried to reveal and understand the details of the concepts presented by them. Each presentation had its own interesting points and problem solutions.

 I am glad that Mr Tigran Mkrtychev became the winner. He has a great international experience as scientist, as well as a museum worker and curator. The fact that Tigran is our countryman, a graduate of the Tashkent University, an expert in the Central Asian region and the ancient history of our region did not leave the expert сouncil indifferent. In his speech, he mentioned that he was a student of outstanding scientists of Uzbekistan and admitted that he wants to fulfill his duty to his teachers, to pay tribute to the land that made him who he is now. My personal wish to Mr. Mkrtychev is not to be afraid of struggles and to work in full force. If our help is needed, we are always ready to provide it.