By Amina Nazarli
The famous “Ali and Nino” love sculpture, based on a novel with the same name by an Azerbaijani writer, is once again open to the public in the Georgian city of Batumi.
Ali and Nino is a tale of love by an Azerbaijani author who wrote under the pen name Kurban Said. The epic love story is one of the most original works of twentieth century literature. Since its initial publication in 1937, the acclaimed novel has been translated into 33 languages worldwide with nearly 100 reprints.
Established in 2011, the sculpture, which is also called “Man and Woman”, was designed by Tamara Kvesitadze. It is a 7-meter steel sculpture of a man and a woman moving toward each other and merging into one piece every 10 minutes.
Earlier, builders planned to move the sculpture to another location to save it from the Black Sea’s waves, but during lifting, one of the sculptures was dropped and thus broken.
Now, the damaged figure of Nino has been fully restored and the sculpture has been set 50 meters from its original location in the area adjacent to the city’s Ferris wheel.
Kvesitadze attended the opening ceremony of the new sculpture. She drew attention to the problems aroused during the placement and said that she was pleased with the response from fans.
“I am very happy that the placement of the sculpture was completed, and I have no doubt about it. It was nice to know that the work has so many fans. As for the new place, I believe that the location is good. However, I think that it is difficult to understand its placement near the Ferris wheel, as one cannot understand whether it is amusement or something else. But I hope that someday they will change the place either of the Ferris wheel or the sculpture,” she said.
The transfer of the metal structure to its new location was conducted throughout the month. A transparent glass enclosure was installed around the base plate of the sculpture, the pedestal is completely covered with granite slabs, and wooden benches were placed near it. The move cost the country roughly 185,550 lari, or $77,264.
The Ali and Nino love story is set against the historical backdrop of World War I on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The epic love novel describes tragic story of Ali Khan Shirvanshir, the male descendant of a royal Muslim family, and Nino Kipiani, a beautiful Christian Georgian princess.
Ali and Nino live in the oil-rich capital of Azerbaijan, which at the beginning of the 20th century was a melting pot of different cultures. Despite these differences in cultures, they have loved each other since childhood, and Ali was determined to marry Nino as soon as she leaves school.
Their love undergoes family differences, religious dissimilarities, and a challenging political situation as Azerbaijan is fighting for independence.
Meanwhile, the filming of Ali and Nino as a feature film began this year. British screenwriter Christopher Hampton will adapt the script, while another British filmmaker, Asif Kapadia, will direct the film.
Adam Bakri will play a leading role – Azerbaijani Alikhan Shirvanshir – and the beloved of beautiful Georgian Nino, will be portray by Maria Valverde also known from movie “Three meters above the sky.”