Oliver and Marjory Wardrop monument opens in Tbilisi
19 October, 2015
Oliver and Marjory Wardrop monument opens in Tbilisi
The monument of Oliver Wardrop and his sister, Marjory Wardrop was inaugurated at the park behind the Parliament building in Tbilisi. The park was given the name of the English diplomat, translator and traveler during last year’s Tbilisoba holiday and that was also when it was decided to put up the monument.

Sir John Oliver Wardrop was a British diplomat, traveler and translator, known best for his role as Great Britain's first Chief Commissioner of Transcaucasus in Georgia. During his
second stay in Georgia, in 1894, he learned the Georgian language and published a series of books on Georgia, including a translation of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani's "The Book of Wisdom and Lies".

His sister Marjory was a linguistic prodigy: Fluent in seven foreign languages, she also learned Georgian and traveled to Georgia (then part of Imperial Russia) in 1894-1896. She translated and published Georgian Folk Tales (London, 1894), The Hermit by Ilia Chavchavadze (London, 1895), The Life of St. Nino (Oxford, 1900), etc. The first English prosaic translation of The Knight in the Panther's Skin, a medieval Georgian epic poem by Shota Rustaveli, is also credited to her.

The monument of Oliver and Marjory Wardrops was inaugurated by the speaker of the parliament, Davit Usupashvili, the mayor of Tbilisi Davit Narmania and the president of Tbilisi assembly Giorgi Alibegashvili. The event was attended by British ambassador to Georgia, Alexandra Hall Hall.

‘Looking at these two people, we will remember that Georgia has always had friends and supporters and that is why we had opportunities to spread our culture throughout the world. Today, our relationship with Great Britain is exemplary. Few days ago I was visiting Great Britain and it’s quite symbolic that our modern life follows the track these two great people, together with Georgian diplomats and Ilia Chavchavadze in particular, have marked for our nations’.
The bronze monument of Oliver and Marjory Wardrops was created by a sculptor, Jumber Jikia.

“I am highly honored to open the monument of the first foreign ambassador to Georgia, Oliver Wardrop, who made many good deeds in Georgia. More than a century has passed and it’s very hard to overestimate his merit. The cultural, social, political and other kinds of relationships between Georgia and the UK even today are influenced by everything Sir Oliver Wardrop has done,” the Tbilisi mayor, Davit Narmania has said.
In 1909, after his sister died, Oliver Wardrop created a fund at Oxford University named after her. Through it, Wardrop augmented his collection, which now consists of 1,454 items, of which 215 are periodicals and 73 are series.

Oxford University's Georgian Society, which was founded in 2003, owes its existence precisely to the legacy left by Oliver and Marjory Wardrop.
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