At the beginning of 2018, the leading European Heritage group Europa Nostra named Buzludzha as one of the seven most endangered heritage sites in Europe. In September they made an official site visit, and now they have published a comprehensive action plan for the restoration of the monument.
Europa Nostra’s heritage experts have called the monument “a unique engineering achievement,” while the technical and financial report now available on their website details a plan for: “recovery of the Monument, firstly to return it to a safe and usable condition, and then to bring it into a new life, offering the possibility of organising cultural/touristic visits and many other types of events (e.g. seminars, concerts, exhibitions). The basic intention is not to restore it completely back to its original status but to adapt it to new attractive uses. Notwithstanding, it has to be noted that a crucial target of this action plan is to keep the Monument out of future political controversies.”
The hefty report (at around 10,000 words in length) was authored by Mario Aymerich, Technical Advisor to the European Investment Bank Institute, and with considerable input from ourselves also.
The next stages in the process will be: to secure official ‘Monument’ status from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture; to settle the question of ownership and responsibility for the monument; and then to seek funding for a full architectural survey of the site, before creating a final, feasible plan for restoration.
There is a great deal of work still to do, but the new Europa Nostra report is an exciting and timely step towards preservation.
You can read the full report on the Europa Nostra website.