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Garden of the Peace in Pazardzhik

What is happening now in Bulgaria is a mass movement for Peace and Neutrality, similar to the Czech Republic, Germany and France. An anti-systemic process that works strongly in Russia's favor.

The well used by the Russian propaganda machine desire for Peace in Bulgaria

Russian symbolism and calls for Bulgaria to be liberated again, this time from NATO and EU slavery (so far, according to Russian and Bulgarian propaganda, Bulgaria has been "liberated from Russia" twice - 1878 and 1944).

Enemy at the Gates of the Memorial- BSP Pazardzhik (

The biggest project for Peace among Peoples in Pazardzhik

"Our ambition is to make this not only the largest garden in Bulgaria, but also in Europe - in terms of area and tree species. Why are we doing this? - This is an initiative, a message that will connect all countries. Pazardzhik will show how countries can unite, not divide." Todor Popov

At a time when NATO and the EU are at war with Russia, and the mood in Bulgaria is decidedly pro-Russian, in Pazardzhik, a large-scale project began, reminiscent visually and ideologgicaly of the largest project for Peace from the time of late Communism (when it was clear that the system was collapsing) - Assembly Banner of Peace, which was to unite different countries in Bulgaria for Peace. Тодор Попов: В източната част на Острова ще изградим „Градин... (

Mayor of Pazardzhik Todor Popov presented the project "Gardens of the World" to H. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria

"I am happy to be able to share with you this idea of ours and to officially invite Morocco to have its own corner in the Gardens of the World. It is the commitment of the Municipality of Pazardzhik to take care of the plants and every year on the holiday of the respective country we will make a presentation of the country with its history, traditions, culture and food. With these Gardens of the World, the message we want to send is one of peace," said Todor Popov to H. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria. В Градините на света ще има кът и на Кралство Мароко : Вестник Знаме - новини Пазарджик и областта (

We will combine everything here - a little bit of Singapore, a little bit of Dubai, a little bit of us - we will have a garden of Bulgaria. I am most annoyed that we have no self-confidence. We always think that somewhere else is doing things better than us. Well, no, they don't do them better. We need self-confidence - something I want to do here. These gardens will become a European attraction, I am not talking idle talk.

We have a very beautiful feature called the Island Park. This park was donated to the municipality just after the Liberation by a Turkish Bey who had left(1878, a large part of the Turkish population fled Bulgaria after the entry of the Russian troops, leaving all their movable and immovable property. In the town of Pazardzhik and the surrounding area there is a complete demographic change. The nationalization of property and appropriation was on a much larger scale than the second entry of the Russian Liberation Army in 1944 and the installation of the Communist Regime). It is a space of over 520 acres that the r. Maritza surrounds with two sleeves and is therefore called an island. Now they are digging there, burying the first 800 thousand BGN (which are from the subsidy for capital expenditures from the state - ed.). In total it will be about 2 million BGN - fountains, stage, etc.

Approved by the Pope

How did the personal audience with the Pope come about?

Personal audiences are between 100-150 people. We invited them, first of all, because when all the Catholic countries understand that His Holiness has said okay to the project, the doors open dramatically - how many will open is up to you. This is extremely important for them. We're a little bit godless here.

We have presented the project - previewed as to all countries. That goes through some selection and they say "we like this project, it's interesting". They called for a meeting. Before we went there, the day before, the ambassador called me and said "you will meet the Pope". Apart from the Pope, we saw the finance minister, who is holding the steam, and the head of the gardens and they took us into the actual gardens, which are not on the tourist part.

We went to the embassy of Monaco. Going there, the ambassador - such an elderly man, an aristocrat - you can tell, he was very impressed and he spoke to Prince Albert the next day and he shouted "you are the only ones who have invited Monaco to make a garden outside Monaco" and Monaco is all garden. Grace Kelly was a flower geek and they have a ministry of gardens and now we are going to Monaco to show us. We also saw the one from the Bahamas who happens to be their foreign minister.

The idea is to invite 80 countries - the whole of Europe and the other half is Africa and exotic countries, because that's how much we can gather up there, we give about 200-500 square meters per country, to fill it with whatever plant they want, characteristic for it.

So far 15 have confirmed they will participate. It's very important to get two or three countries hooked at the beginning and when the buzz starts, others start looking a little differently - at the beginning some village headman from some country that doesn't count as living. Everywhere they ask is this project getting state participation and funding, and if you say it is, it's a problem. When you say this is our project and our money, the state has nothing to do with it, it becomes easier. Интервю | Тодор Попов, кмет на Пазарджик: За мен се говорят легенди, но моите избиратели мислят по правилния начин (

The Biggest Historical Project in Bulgaria with Pazardzhik Participation

I am the most scrutinized mayor in Bulgaria in every way - personal finances, my wife. Everybody looks at me, checks me. With this house they made me famous. Who doesn't have a house, do you know how much one acre in Patalenitsa costs - this is not Monaco, it costs 5 thousand/acre. My wife was chewed out by checks - she made this big park ("Historical Park" - Ed. note) with some people from Varna, they are developing, it has scale.Интервю | Тодор Попов, кмет на Пазарджик: За мен се говорят легенди, но моите избиратели мислят по правилния начин (

In Pazardzhik there is a special approach to History:

History Clubs, Historical Myths and Nostalgia for the Soviet Union (

The Original Garden of Peace Idea in Bulgaria

But in the end, what has happened in Pazardzhik in the last 15 years is a reconstruction and reproduction of the late socialist project Bulgaria of the late 70s early 80s.

Here is some history about the idea and about Lyudmila Zhivkova herself, according to whom communism should be reborn into a religion:

Anti System Cults- The New Old Terrorism (

In 1976, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child, the General Assembly declared 1979 the International Year of the Child. Bulgaria supports the decision and expresses its wish to take an active part. At the suggestion of Lyudmila Zhivkova, at that time Chairwoman of the Committee for Art and Culture, the "Banner of Peace" movement was launched and the organisation of the first International Children's Assembly began.

Anti System Cults- The New Old Terrorism (

The project was united by the motto "Unity, Creativity, Beauty", borrowed from the philosophical system of the Russian artist and philosopher Nikolai Roerich, who in the mid-1970s launched the idea of annual reviews of children's creativity. In addition to Lyudmila Zhivkova, as its chairperson, the Assembly's initiative committee includes famous personalities and artists such as Dechko Uzunov, Svetlin Rusev, Panteleye Zarev, Sergei Mikhalkov, Gianni Rodari, Yifra Neiman, and others.

Thus, from 16 - 25 August 1979, the whole of Bulgaria was a children's assembly. The capital welcomes the colourful, noisy, singing, drawing, dancing company of boys and girls who communicate with the universal language of talent and smiles. In addition to the thousands of participants, there are numerous invited journalists from all over the world engaged in covering the various initiatives. The organisation of the event, generously funded by the State, is exceptional.

On the last day of the 10-day international children's festival, the "Banner of Peace" monument was unveiled in the Bells area near Sofia. The impressive monument was erected in just 30 days and became one of the symbols of the forum. Listen to the speech by Amadou-Mukhtar M'Bow, Director-General of UNESCO and Patron of the Assembly, delivered at the ceremony. A "Although different in culture and colour, peoples have the same aspirations for peace, freedom and universal understanding. This memorial is an expression of faith..."

The monument stands 37 metres tall at its centre and is made up of 4 vertical concrete pylons pointing in the four directions of the world. At the top, they form a large aerial sphere, within which are suspended 7 bells symbolising the seven continents. At the bottom there are another 20, called the "singers", on which musical pieces can be played along with the main 7. It is surrounded by two horizontal semicircles 60 metres long, where the bells donated by the participating countries are hung. This is how the bells were rung on the day of the opening ceremony on 25 August 1979.

Thus ends the first international children's assembly "Banner of Peace". Although its inspirer Lyudmila Zhivkova died in 1981, three more were held - in 1982, 1985 and 1988. The total number of participants was impressive - about 4 thousand children from 138 countries and more than 14 thousand Bulgarian children. Reputable international organizations such as UNESCO and UNICEF supported the Peace Flag Assembly, and in 1987 the United Nations honored it with the title of Messenger of Peace.

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