SYSTEM OF BUSTS IN SOFIA DURING THE SOCIALIST PERIOD. PAST AND PRESENT.

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The research has tried to follow the logic in the arrangement of busts and the choice of figures to be commemorated in the green areas of Sofia during the Socialist period (1944-1989). It touches upon the issues of park development and the future of the sculptures. The article gives overview of almost all 119 bust-monuments from the Socialist period in Sofia, and of the 18 from the interwar period in the Borisova gradina park. Ten tables are attached to present the bust-monuments in city parks and gardens and two more tables in appendix to present the bust-monuments from the Socialist period and those from the onset of democracy. The research has referenced the publications and the archives of Sofia History Museum and has borrowed original pictures of statues that no longer exist. The other pictures showing the current status of some of the ideological-motivated sculptures were made especially for the case. The sculptures from the Socialist period in Sofia are an element of a much wider commemorative concept that encompasses the entire city and fills it with heroic spirit and symbols. The choice of heroes to be commemorated, the combination of various types of monuments and the proximity of "sacred" sites are very carefully considered in order to achieve ideological impact. The socialist state, devoted to excessive generation of symbols, had already managed to implement its characteristic planned, mass approach to create a number of monuments on existing or developed urban structures, still standing today, thus the present values of this cultural heritage are to be found in the "good" examples of urban and park planning solutions.

Author: Ilia Mechkov
Regional Historical Museum - Sofia 1, Banski square, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
amechkov@abv.bg
ilia.mechkov@sofiahistorymuseum.bg

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