About Sights – Oliver and Marjory Wardrop Statue in Tbilisi

A statue of Oliver Wardrop and his sister, Marjory Wardrop can be found at the park behind the Parliament building in Tbilisi. Sir John Oliver Wardrop KBE CMG was a British diplomat, traveler and translator, known best for his role as Great Britain’s first Chief Commissioner of Transcaucasus in Georgia (1919–21), and also as the founder and benefactor of Kartvelian studies at Oxford University.

Oliver and Marjory Wardrop statue in Tbilisi

Oliver and Marjory Wardrop statue in Tbilisi

The statue was inaugurated in October 2015 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 the British Ambassador to Georgia, Alexandra Hall Hall.

Unveiling the Oliver and Marjory Wardrop statue in Tbilisi

Unveiling the Oliver and Marjory Wardrop statue in Tbilisi

After travelling to Georgia in 1887, Oliver Wardrop wrote his study The Kingdom of Georgia, published in 1888. In 1894 during his second journey to Georgia he mastered the Georgian language and published a series of books on Georgia, including his translation of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani’s The Book of Wisdom and Lies.

A plaque at the site of the statue honoring Oliver and Marjory Wardrop in Tbilisi

A plaque at the site of the statue honoring Oliver and Marjory Wardrop in Tbilisi

Oliver Wardop’s sister, Marjory Wardrop traveled to Georgia (then part of the Russian Empire) in 1894-1896. She translated and published Georgian Folk Tales (London, 1894), The Hermit by Ilia Chavchavadze (London, 1895), and The Life of St. Nino (Oxford, 1900). 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. Based on the legacy left by Sir John Oliver Wardrop and his sister Marjory, the Oxford University Georgian Society was founded in 2003.

Oliver and Marjory Wardrop statue in Tbilisi

Oliver and Marjory Wardrop statue in Tbilisi

Photos courtesy of Tbilisi City Hall

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