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“Georgia – A Cultural Journey through the Wardrop Collection”

By Mariam Chanishvili
Friday, June 29
The launch of Nikoloz Aleksidze’s book: “Georgia: A Cultural Journey through the Wardrop Collection” took place on 27 June at the British Embassy in Tbilisi.

The British Ambassador to Georgia Justin McKenzie Smith hosted the presentation of the book, which brings together an amazing collection of various artifacts and memorabilia that are kept at the Bodleian Oriental Institute Library of the University of Oxford.

Justin McKenzie Smith noted that this book is a symbol of British-Georgian relations.

“I will say two things about this project that particularly appealed to me. Firstly, it is very important to make this material available to the worldwide audience. Also, I admired the freshness of Nikoloz’s writing and his identification of the British connections.

I am convinced that it will make a lasting contribution to the long standing friendship of the two countries,” he said.

The author of the book, Nikoloz Aleksidze thanked TBC Bank, British Embassy and Bodleian Library.

“I can’t express how honored I am to be able to present this project. It is a story within a story of individual manuscripts, documents, etc. One item leads to another. You read stories of medieval events and kings,” he said.

The Chairman of the Board of TBC Bank Group, Mamuka Khazaradze noted that their participation is very important for the project. TBC Bank financed and supported the above mentioned project.

“This kind of cultural projects are crucial for introduction of Georgia culture internationally,” said Khazaradze.

The book is another demonstration of the work of Oliver and Marjory Wardrops who, over 100 years ago laid foundation to long-lasting and strong friendship between the UK and Georgia.

Richly illustrated with rare and previously unpublished images from the collection, this book offers unique insight into Georgian culture and political history through the lens of an eccentric English diplomat and his sister.

The Wardrop collection consists of books and manuscripts relating to Georgia and the Caucasus and was built up by Sir Oliver Wardrop and his sister Marjory.

The collection forms a very important part of the Bodleian’s rich holdings of Georgian books and diaries. Dating from 1882-1948, the diaries provide details of Sir Oliver’s daily meetings and activities.

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. With over 12 million items, it is the second-largest library in Britain after the British Library.

Copies of the book will be available in the nearest future in bookshops of Tbilisi.