Georgian translator Khatuna Tskhadadze has been distinguished with the Order of the Star of Italy, a state prize of the Republic, for her work in making Italian authors available to readers in her country.
The award that recognises promotion of Italian culture abroad was bestowed on the translator and university professor in recognition of over two decades of work on major novels, miniatures and stories by authors including Umberto Eco, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Gianni Rodari.
Tskhadadze was nominated for the prize last year by the Embassy of Italy in Georgia, without the knowledge of the translator herself. She told on.ge news website she was "completely surprised and very happy" to receive "the top order for people whose work with the Italian language and literature is not only their profession but their life".
The prize-winning translation work of the literature professional has produced Georgian editions of works including Foucault's Pendulum by Eco, The Street Kids by Pasolini and miniatures by Tonino Guerra.
Her translations have received critical acclaim on Georgia's literary scene, with two Saba Literary Awards for Translation of the Year for Foucault's Pendulum and The Prague Cemetery by Eco, in addition to Gala Literary Prize for her translation of the Italian writer's The Name of the Rose.
Her work on Eco has also been praised by poet Giorgi Lobzhanidze, who said it was "impossible not to be delighted with this great writer, as discovered and presented in congenial translations of Khatuna Tskhadadze."