Just a week ago, the President gave a landmark speech on March 3rd, Bulgaria's National Day for the liberation of the country from Turkish rule, thanks to Russia.
In this speech, President Radev said that the most important thing for Bulgaria is to preserve its memory and history, in front of the forces trying to replace it. And a week after this speech, the Sofia Municipality decided to move the Soviet Army Monument. The Bulgarian Socialist Party in Pazardzhik decided to lead the initiative in organizing a protest.
The news became a headline for all Russian media. How the Bulgarians want to save the Russian monument:
At the same time the Russian media was filled with photos and videos of Atanas Stefanov, a Renaissance politician, who threw the Ukrainian flag from the terrace of the same city hall in Sofia, calling Ukrainians fascists.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party in Pazardzhik, took a rather strangebut art position on the proposal to dismantle the monument of the Soviet Army in Sofia. It organized the basis of a national protest on March 9th, 2023 in Sofia and a human chain, on the day of the of the decision, speaking of complete inadequacy(from the decision to execution, may take years) and only a desire for political advertising.
In general, Pazardzhik in the last year has paid great attention to exactly what the President said in his speech. History, patriotism, memory and gratitude to Russia. And ufcorse memorials. As Pazardzhik, according to its former mayor Ivan Evstatiev, can claim the leading place in newly built Russian monuments in the world.
The proposal for monument removal was supported by the Patriotic Formations and the Gerb, during which time many new Russian Monuments sprang up in Pazardzhik, unveiled by all the officials. The proposal itself is to move the monument to the Museum of Socialism.
Here is a social post of one of the candidates for MP from Pazardzhik after the protest initiated by BSP Pazardzhik. An Ordinary Putin's Influencer from Pazardzhik (theangel.today)
And here is the official position of the Bulgarian Socialist Party on the strangely proposed(only proposed, now the ball is in the same BSP hands and the pro Russian president) to remove the Russian Monument of the Liberator in Sofia, on the basis of which they are organizing a national protest on March 9th, 2023.
New monument on the horizon:
Declaration by the members of the Regional Council of BSP-Pazardzhik, the socialists from Pazardzhik and the candidates for MPs from BSP for Bulgaria from 13 MIR-Pazardzhik
The decision of the Sofia Municipal Commission for Education and Culture to "dismantle" and "move" the Soviet Army Monument from where it belongs is painful proof that today in Bulgaria retrograde forces and politicians who are out of place are taking the upper hand. They are out of place as morality, as dignity, as a sense of responsibility towards their homeland and their roots. We leave aside the associations of those dark historical periods during which monuments were destroyed, books were burned and high values of the human spirit were held. Let us hope that the consequences of these atrocities do not befall us.
Our "liquidators" are, of course, more conniving and cowardly. The hypocritical Bulgarian "democrats" have for decades been playing with the memory and pain of Europe torn apart by the Second World War and denigrating one of its saviours - the Soviet Army. We remind you that the first attempts to "dismantle" the monument date back to 1993.
Therefore, we, the socialists from Pazardzhik ask - will the "dismantling" restore our dignity as Bulgarians, will it make our capital our pride, will it solve our problems? Will the international factors outside the country place us among the nations with character, or will we consolidate ourselves in the category of "obedient, willless and easy to use". We also ask whether the "bright" example will not be followed elsewhere, where for decades we have been bowing our heads to the exploits of Russian and Soviet soldiers - in Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Stara Zagora? Is it not likely that some spineless political factor will reach Shipka as well? We Socialists believe that the dirty water will run out, that sound Bulgarian morality will overcome the fatigue of politics and the people will stand up against the "liquidators". We believe that not elections but Bulgarian dignity are above everything! And our opposition will not be only in words, but also in deeds - in front of the Soviet Army Monument and in front of every other monument that marked the fate of our Fatherland!
We are waiting for you there! On March 9 at 9.00 a.m. in front of Sofia Municipal Council and then in front of the Soviet Army Monument!
In general, the idea of the Sofia City Hall is not to destroy (as happens in the Baltics, Poland and the whole of Eastern Europe) the monument from the time of totalitarianism and praising the Russian Army. The idea is to dismantle it and move it to the specially opened in 2011 mega Museum of Socialist Art and to preserve it for generations.
The Museum of Socialist Art was opened in 2011. At the official ceremony, artists and ministers mingled - Prime Minister Borissov himself, the two deputy prime ministers Dyankov and Tsvetanov and the mayor of Sofia came for the ribbon cutting. The museum is funded by the budget. For three and a half million leva, 8000 square meters of open space were renovated and a 6 acre park populated with outdoor sculptures was built.
This is the Pazardzhik Museum of Socialism. It is located in the town of Peshtera, close to Pazardzhik:
And here's a bit about Contemporary Modern Art in Bulgaria
The project for the Museum of Contemporary Art started in 2009, when for one and a half million Euro, the first floor of a municipal building had to be renovated:
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sofia comprises a major reconstruction of an old two-storey building (Sofia Arsenal) into a museum. The project "Sofia Arsenal - Museum of Contemporary Art" under contract with the National Gallery, is implemented under the Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Arts Programme, and was already funded by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEA Financial Mechanism) 2009-2014.
On 17 June 2011, an official ceremony marked the successful completion of the first stage of the project. In the second stage, the second and attic floors of the building are to be completed. The construction of a depot is planned in accordance with all modern museum requirements, as well as a separate building for temporary exhibitions.
In 2017, the second and attic floors of the main building were to be opened, as well as a new separate building for temporary exhibitions.
In 2021, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and Minister of Culture Veleslav Minenkov, presented a new development concept, according to which the museum must find private sponsors to complete its renovation.
After several million in renovations, the unfinished building looks like this:
Велислав Минеков и Кирил Петков с нова концепция за "Софийски арсенал - музей за съвременно изкуство" - По света и у нас - БНТ Новини (bntnews.bg)
And here is the School of Arts in Pazardzhik: