“The money will mainly go to the restoration of the palace building and the organization of an exhibition space for the priceless collection of historical artifacts preserved in it,” the embassy said in a statement.
Dadiani Palace is the residence of Megrelian rulers. The current palace was built in 1873-78. for Princess Ekaterina Dadiani, nee Chavchavadze.
Ekaterina Alexandrovna Chavchavadze-Dadiani, who is also the sister of Nina Griboedova, laid out a park around the palace with the help of gardeners sent from Europe, now it is the magnificent Zugdidi Botanical Garden with an area of 26.4 hectares.
A second palace was also built on the territory of the residence; it was erected in the 1880s for the son of Ekaterina Dadiani, the last Megrelian ruler, according to the project of Leonid Vasiliev.
Exhibits of the museum, which was founded on the initiative of the ruler of Megrelia David Dadiani in 1849, are stored in the Dadiani Palace. It contains about 40 thousand artifacts, including inventory of the Tagilon treasure (1st millennium BC), a golden antique mask, the icon of the mother of the Georgian queen Tamara (12th century), ancient monuments that came to Georgia after the fall of Constantinople, European military weapons of the Middle Ages, paintings and drawings by Western European masters.
One of the three death masks of Napoleon is also kept here. She was brought to Georgia by Prince Ashil Murat, grandson of Marshal Murat, who married Salome Dadiani, sister of Niko Dadiani, the last Megrelian ruler.
In the mid-1990s, the great-grandson of Prince Achille Murat and Princess Salome, Prince Alain Murat, moved to Zugdidi for permanent residence together with his wife Princess Veronica (née de Chabo-Tramekur) and daughter Princess Matilda. They founded the “Murats in Georgia” foundation, and then tried to get the property of the Dadiani princes, including the palace, through the European Court. However, there is also the Georgian Dadiani Palace Salvation Fund, whose representatives point out that in 1919 the Dadiani heirs officially renounced the rights to the palace complex.