Save the Monument

On Monday, 3rd of July 2017, Sofia Municipality has begun the destruction of an emblematic late socialist monument in the centre of Bulgaria's capital. Turns out that 30 years after the fall of communism, politicians can still attack art for popularity and political PR. Help us bring this problem outside of our country. We believe this monument, controversial as it is, is unique not only on a national, but also on a global scale.

photo: Stanislav Belovski

The formal reason for dismantling the monument are repairs of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia and its surrounding public areas which will be the seat of Bulgaria’s first Presidency of the Council of EU starting in January 2018. Artistic and experts’ organizations in Bulgaria have reacted strongly against, however, their voice has been ignored. Until this moment there is no specific project what will replace the monument.

The monument was built in 1981 to celebrate 1300 years of the foundation of the Bulgarian State. Its sculptor is professor Valentin Startchev. The monument was planned as part of the urban ensemble including the National Palace of Culture and is a peculiar part-brutalist part-deconstructivist structure, lacking in fact any communist symbols. An aesthetically bold composition, it has been marked with almost general public disapproval both before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989). It is usually defined as “ugly”, mostly due to its visual abstractness and the quick disintegration for lack of municipal care.Yet its current state of half-decay makes it even more interesting as a symbol of our turbulent post-socialist history.

We want to show the reality in our country and ask the world for help us stop this demolition. Coming soon is a documentary film about the whole history of the monument and its current state of being. If you need any more information, please, do not hesitate to contact us. Help us by supporting our cause to prove that art is stronger than politics.

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