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Gallery: Orphaned mosaics in Communist Era monument in Bulgaria in need of Adoption

Gallery: Orphaned mosaics in Communist Era monument in Bulgaria in need of Adoption

The Buzludzha Project is fighting to preserve precious examples of Bulgarian 20th-century art and architecture for posterity

The Buzludzha Project foundation announced a campaign for ‘adopting’ mosaics in the iconic, and now abandoned, Communist party monument in Bulgaria. The Buzludzha Project is a non-profit organisation led by Berlin-based Bulgarian Architect Dora Ivanova and its main goal is to preserve the beautiful architecture and mosaics in the decaying building.

Buzludzha OutsideThe exterior of the building, Source: vacacionesbulgaria on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Adopt a mosaic

A total of 14 mosaics need to be stabilised and the price for the adoption is derived from the size and the costs of conservation. There are two types, small and large, with the 12 small ones going for 2,500 euros each and the big ones for 3,500 each.

mosaicOne of the mosaics in need of urgent conservation, Source: Buzludzha Project website

The winds of change, blowing through the collapsed roof

The Buzludzha Monument’s official name is Home-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP). It was constructed in 1981 in honour of the Buzludzha Congress held in the same place in 1891, where the Bulgarian Social-Democratic Party was founded. The BKP is considered a successor to the Social Democrats and after the 1989 democratic changes, it transformed into the Bulgarian Socialist Party.

frontalThe frontal facade of Buzludzha, Source: Buzlidzha Project website

After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Buzludzha Monument gradually fell into disrepair, as governments in the 1990s and onwards felt there was little reason to spend precious resources to maintain a relic of a bygone era. Naturally, over the years, the windows caved in and parts of the roof collapsed, opening the interior mosaics to the elements.

InteriorThe interior of the monument, Source: Buzludzha Project website

In 2013, Dora Ivanova came to visit the monument and found an abandoned building without a roof, inhabited by bats, and where the mosaics were falling apart in big chunks. This is what motivated her to start the Buzludzha Project, to preserve and restore the precious artistic heritage of 20th-century Bulgaria.

ConservationConservation efforts on the mosaics, Source: Buzludzha Project website

A few years later, the Buzludzha Project was able to secure around 160,000 euros to create a plan for the conservation and preservation of the building, as well as in inquiry into the conditions of the mosaics. The inquiry revealed that the mosaics need urgent attention, as they would have a hard time surviving the elements.

Conserved Mosaics Conserved mosaic, Source: Buzludzha Project website

With a further 51,000 euros and investments from private sources, as well as volunteer conservationists from four countries, the team was able to construct a canopy and implement emergency conservation techniques to preserve the mosaics for several more years, until they can be fully restored.

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