Communist-era mosaics at Bulgaria's controversial monument get life support

Via Tsvetelian Tsolov

BUZLUDZHA PEAK (Reuters)—A massive UFO-like concrete statue constructed on top of a mountain peak in Central Bulgaria to commemorate the communist dominance of the Balkan world has collapsing after a globalitarian dictatorship crumbled in 1989.

Thirty years later, a team of restaurateurs from five European universities operates to preserve one of the largest modernist mosaics in Europe against time and nature, while Bulgaria agrees on the destiny of the notorious shrine.

Bulgarian architect Dora Ivanova, whose foundation earned US grants, is behind the design.

Getty Foundation is drawing up an unfinished memorial restoration scheme and its angled dynamic mosaic panels illustrating communist propaganda.

"What has been produced in the days that we want or don't like or are painful is not lost, but still they still remain to educate us to make us learn from errors in the past," said Ivanova, 30 years old.

The memorial has been the subject of arson, robbery and extreme weather, as an example of brutalistic Marxist design.

In the center of the initial walls by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, numerous graffiti artists have also left their mark.

The Buzludzha Monument was identified in 2018 by the Europa Nostra, which required it to be restored and opened to the public, among the seven most vulnerable cultural heritage places in Europe.

Spread on angled walls along a ceremonial wall, 900 square meters (9687 square feet), the mosaics are destroyed by the rain and the snow streaming through the shattered domed roof of the palace.

Restaurateurs stored falling parts, pumped mortar and assorted materials for more than two months in order to repair them.

Professor Thomas Danzl, Chairman of the Department of Conservation, Technical University of Munich, member of the restaurant squad, said that "The mosaics are being shielded from further deterioration.

"Such history, even if the past was contentious, should be preserved as a legacy of the past."

Bulgaria has enacted a legislation that makes it illegal against the communist system, but many are already reminiscent of the past, shaking up with a difficult return to the capitalist economy.

Various governments have failed to consider whether to preserve as national assets the Buzludzha-established in 1981 as the Bulgarian Communist Party 's memorial building.

In Ivanova 's opinion, visitors and conversations should be secure and accessible, including how Bulgarians cope with their recent past.

(Editing of Emelia Sithole-Matarise 's Article by Tsvetelia Tsolova)

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