A new BBC documentary short offers viewers a glimpse inside the Buzludzha Monument. Originally broadcast on 28th June 2018, the segment was filmed on location – with the BBC Travel Show team being the first international film crew officially permitted inside the building since it was closed.
The show’s presenter, Mike Corey, is visibly impressed by the moment. “It’s incredible!” he exclaims as he enters the Solemn Hall, accompanied by the Buzludzha Project’s own Dora Ivanova. In another section he describes the building as “powerful architecture.”
Throughout the piece, the monument is discussed in very positive terms. While other media (such as Buzzfeed and CNN, for example) have presented Buzludzha as a “spooky” ruin, the BBC’s focus here is clearly on the value of its architecture and the artistic accomplishment of its interior mosaics. It’s refreshing to see foreign media really engaging with the monument itself, rather than getting distracted by its political reputation and current ruined status.
The BBC Travel Show has a reach of more than 70 million viewers a week, and coverage like this can only bring good news for Buzludzha itself. The monument is reaching a critical stage, with its mosaics coming closer to complete destruction with every passing winter. “Time could be running out for Buzludzha,” says the BBC host, and he isn’t wrong.
Ultimately, it is hoped that features like this can help to inspire more people, in Bulgaria and elsewhere, to see that the value of the monument’s architecture and design has the potential to outlive its historical political connotations. As Mike Corey concludes: “There’s no doubt that this is a controversial, but very powerful and iconic building; and because of that alone, to me, it feels worth preserving in whatever form.”
Watch the documentary for yourself below.