The Stalin Museum in Batumi is much more modest than the imposing Gori Stalin Museum. It comprises three mid-sized rooms, in a former worker’s hostel which housed the young Stalin when he was organizing workers in Batumi. However, the Batumi museum provides a much more personal and enthusiastic touch than in Gori. Your 3 Lari admittance fee includes a guided tour (in slightly halting but workable English) from the Museum’s curator. It quickly becomes clear he has true enthusiasm for his work and he believes Stalin was, on the whole, a positive force. He uses the familiar arguments: without the crash industrialization program of the 1930s the USSR (and the West) would have lost WWII and, without Stalin, the crash industrialization program would never have happened.
Stalin ‘s stay in Batumi was reasonably brief. He was arrested and imprisoned after organizing a workers protest where a number of workers died in a confrontation with the authorities. (See Simon Sebag Montefiore’s “Young Stalin” for details.) The museum includes the room where Stalin stayed and supposedly the actual bed he slept on. Other than that, it includes a modest collection of idealized Stalin paintings and sculptures, and reproductions of various stock photographs of the young revolutionary, including his classic police mugshot.
Since I seemed interested and polite, the curator was kind enough to take my picture with a flag of the Soviet Republic of Georgia, beside an idealized statue of the young Stalin.
If you are in Batumi, it is definitely worth visiting, if for nothing else, as a glimpse into an entire alternative world view.