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Dear Mr. Chairman,

Today I was able to visit your website, it works properly, as you wrote me, and I must tell you that I am deeply impressed with your work and what you have done to restore and preserve this amazing place. Double bravo! I am fascinated by ancient history, Roman, Byzantine and now Thracian, and I must say that after Istanbul and Rome I found two more amazing places I am already in love with – Sozopol and Nessebar, two impressive museum cities. I travel to these places with my little daughter, to whom I present the ancient history, not only on book, not only from the site, but also on the spot. That is why every time we have the opportunity we visit a historic town, on the spot, as we did last year in Sozopol. My first information about you is from the point of interest of Google Maps in Sozopol, but I guess there are many more things to see and that is why we want to return to Sozopol and visit the places we missed. I am so happy to have found your amazing article in section “News” on the website about the work of your foundation to discover and preserve the rich cultural heritage and I can only imagine how exciting it is to discover an ancient object or building remains hidden in the ground after many years……Thank you again for your work and your care for world history and heritage!

Hats off!

Greetings from the country of Dracula, Romania!
Irinel Dobrisor.

On April 12, 2021 at the University of National and World Economy / UNWE / was held a public defense for the award of the degree “Doctor of Science”, which Prof. Dr. Tanya Parusheva, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Sozopol Foundation in in the field of sustainable development of tourism and intangible cultural heritage, defended a dissertation on: “A New Paradigm of Cultural Tourism in the Context of Globalization”. The research is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the University of National and World Economy and 30 years since the establishment of the Department of Tourism Economics.

A scientific jury, composed of proven specialists in the field of cultural heritage and tourism, unanimously decided to award the scientific degree “Doctor of Science” to Prof. Dr. Tanya Parusheva – Lecturer in the Department of Tourism Economics at UNWE and Chief Scientific Officer. consultant to the Sozopol Foundation in the field of sustainable development of tourism and intangible cultural heritage.

From left to right: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nikolay Tsonev, Prof. Dr. Hristina Nikolova, Prof. Dr. Tanya Parusheva, Prof. Dr. Violeta Mutafchieva and Prof. Dr. Manol Ribov

For the final, Prof. Dr. Parusheva had prepared a special surprise for all those present in the hall and those who took part in the event online. In unison with the research and based on her exceptional experience in the field of intangible cultural heritage, Prof. Parusheva had invited part of the choir “Bistrishki Babi”, included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.


The International Reporting and Election Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations – Official Partners of UNESCO was held on December 16-18 at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Elections for members and Chairman of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee were held during these days in December.The Sozopol Foundation, Bulgaria, was elected to the ten members of the Management Board. This is another recognition for the active work of the Bulgarian non-governmental organization.

The Chairman of the Sozopol Foundation, Mr. Kiril Arnautski, thanked all participants for their activity and honor, with our election for a third term as members of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee. He stressed that the experience of the Foundation’s experts will contribute to its good performance as a member of this high, global forum, such as the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee.


The Permanent Representative of the Sozopol Foundation to UNESCO, Ms. Petya Zelenski, thanked everyone for the expressed trust and stressed that it will be protected with dedicated work.


She presented to the participants the idea of the Sozopol Foundation during the forthcoming term – Bulgaria to host again an international forum organized by the Sozopol Foundation under the auspices of UNESCO. Our country has already organized one in 2014 on the topic „The role of youth in preserving the tangible and intangible cultural heritage”.

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On September 30, the Sozopol Foundation presented the project “Sozopol, Preserved Cultural Heritage for the Centuries – 2020″ under the Europe Nostra European Cultural Heritage Awards Program.

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The European Nostra Awards were established in 2002 by the European Commission and are supported by the Creative Europe program. Since its launch, Europa Nostra, the European voice of civil society committed to cultural heritage, has been responsible for managing this award scheme based on its many years of experience and experience in publicly recognizing individual or collective achievements in cultural heritage at European level.

General plan of the Renaissance walls of Ibiza – Spain

These annual awards aim to identify and promote best practices in the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, to stimulate cross-border exchanges of knowledge and experience across Europe, to raise public awareness and appreciation of Europe’s cultural heritage and to promote more further excellent initiatives through the power of example.
The work of the Sozopol Foundation from its inception in 2002 to the present day fits fully into the requirements of the Europa Nostra Awards. The basis of the developed project is the Architectural and Historical Complex “Southern Fortress Wall and Tower”, created and upgraded for over 17 years. The complex, acquainting everyone with the centuries-old history of Sozopol, has the real opportunity to receive one of the prestigious Awards!

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Architectural and historical complex “Southern fortress wall and tower” is a powerful base, thanks to which Ancient Sozopol has become a leading world tourist destination. In 2015, this position was recognized and reflected with dignity by the World Tourism and Travel Council.


All Bulgarians, we expect to strengthen the achieved international authority of the Architectural and Historical Complex “Southern Fortress Wall and Tower” and the National Archaeological Reserve “Ancient City of Apollonia”, an integral part of Ancient Sozopol – to continue to be the basis of the ancient city as a world tourist destination.


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Sozopol Foundation continues its active work as a national and international non-governmental organization for the benefit of civil society and its development. Experts of the Foundation developed a project proposal “Sozopol – nature and culture, accessible to all in terms of COVID 19″. On September 9, the Project Proposal was presented through the Electronic System for Submission and Acceptance of Projects under the Program “Small Initiatives Scheme” at the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria. The envisaged project activities are for empowering vulnerable groups, training in advocacy, conducting and participating in advocacy campaigns. The activities detailed in the form will be performed on the territory of Sozopol municipality and Primorsko municipality.

3 4 Town of Sozopol Town of Primorsko

Start of the day – sunrise (July morning) – July 1, 2020, 05:23

On July 1, 2020 in the Archaeological Museum, Sozopol was unveiled a bust – a monument to Professor Bozhidar Dimitrov.

Central entrance of the Archaeological Museum “Prof. Bozhidar Dimitrov ”- the town of Sozopol

The newly discovered bust-monument of Prof. Bozhidar Dimitrov

The bust – the monument was donated by Mr. Turhut Ismail from the village of Iskra, Karnobat region. The author of the bronze sculpture is the famous Plovdiv sculptor Mr. Ivan Totev. The monument was unveiled by Mr. Tihomir Yanakiev, Mayor of Sozopol Municipality. Kotzeto – Kalki performed part of an original Bulgarian song.

Mr. Tikhomir Yanayakiev and Kotseto-Kalki

Born in the town of Sozopol, Bozhidar Dimitrov (1945 – 2018) is a famous Bulgarian scientist – historian, publicist and public figure. Throughout his conscious life and as a long-term director of the National History Museum, he focused on public issues of cultural and historical heritage, a factor in preserving national identity and reviving patriotism among the Bulgarian people.


Professor Bozhidar Dimitrov worked tirelessly to preserve and present the cultural heritage and popularize his hometown Sozopol as a world tourist destination. The Sozopol Foundation took an active part in this activity. Over the years, the Sozopol Foundation has implemented a number of projects funded by national and international programs.

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Professor Bozhidar Dimitrov was the Chief Scientific Consultant in the implementation of all projects implemented by the Sozopol Foundation, as an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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Part of the fortress system of the Reserve, restored and preserved segment “Southern fortress wall and tower”

Professor Bozhidar Dimitrov is the initiator of providing funds for the restoration of the Orthodox Church “St. St. Cyril and Methodius ”in the town of Sozopol.

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The control over the implementation of the conservation, restoration, construction-repair and construction-assembly works of the church was entrusted to Father Ivan Popov and Kiril Arnautski.

Father Ivan Popov and Mr. Kiril Arnautski

15 16 Mr. Kiril Arnautski
Chairman of Sozopol Foundation
Mrs. Love Baum
Cultural Heritage Expert at the Sozopol Foundation

On June 30, 2020, the Project: “Sozopol and Essaouira – wide open doors between two civilizations” was presented under the Participation Program 2020-2021 at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The two non-governmental organizations have set for the implementation of activities in line with the main objectives and UNESCO Directives.
The planned project activities will be performed in the town of Sozopol, Republic of Bulgaria during the International Art Festival “Apollonia”


and the city of Essaouira, Kingdom of Morocco, during the Gnaoua International Arts Festival.


Expected results from the project implementation:
•promotion, support, development and preservation of cultural diversity;
•raising awareness, by promoting and raising the profile of UNESCO, based on the active work of the World Organization.
•Promoting the financial participation of UNESCO. Achieved compliance of the project activities with the adopted ethical standards of the World Organization;
•Prominent and visible achievement of gender equality – one of the two UNESCO Global Priorities;
•Capacity of a number of young people in preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage;
•Strengthening the role of the world’s intangible cultural heritage as a factor for mutual understanding between peoples, improving dialogue between them as a “living force for peace”;
•The importance of the intangible cultural heritage for the establishment of national identities will be emphasized, as well as its role for achieving sustainable development – national, cross-border and international, through its maintenance and preservation for future generations.

The experience of the two non-governmental organizations in the projects implemented so far is a guarantee that the project proposal: “Sozopol and Essaouira – wide open doors between two civilizations” will be performed correctly, with high professionalism and will have the necessary sustainability.

The Sozopol Foundation’s Active Activity Report for 2019 is ready to be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Sector for Non-Governmental Organizations.

The first Bulgarian non-governmental organization in formal partnership with UNESCO – Sozopol Foundation submits its 2012 annual reports. Each year, following the priorities of UNESCO, the Foundation presents its active national and international activities through a Report to the World Organization. This activity of the Sozopol Foundation does not remain unnoticed by the leadership of UNESCO. Purposeful letters from:

•Mrs. Audrey Azule – General Manager

•Mr Ernesto Otone – Deputy Director-General for Culture

•Mr Firmin Edward Matoko – Deputy Director-General for Africa and external relations

•Mr Tim Curtis – Secretary of the 2003 Convention and Head of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Sector

confirmed the active national and international activities of the Sozopol Foundation.

In 2019, the activities of the Sozopol Foundation were fruitful and diverse. The bright ray that accompanied the Foundation team was the satisfaction with the implementation of the activities under the Project: Chiprovtsi Carpets, World Heritage – Generation Property ”. The project was funded by the World Organization’s 2018-2019 Participation Program and co-funded by the Sozopol Foundation. Thanks to the financial assistance and logistical support of UNESCO, this element of the world’s intangible cultural heritage has been promoted worldwide. For the correct and accurate implementation of the project activities, Sozopol Foundation submitted an evaluation report and a financial report to UNESCO.

The Sozopol Foundation, a non-governmental organization from Bulgaria and the Ring of the Balkans Foundation, a non-governmental organization from Serbia in partnership, have implemented the Project: “Chiprovtsi Carpets, World Heritage – Generation Property”. The evaluation report concerning the implementation of the project is ready and will be sent to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Sector for Non-Governmental Organizations (UNESCO). The project was funded by the World Organization’s 2018-2019 Participation Program and co-funded by the Sozopol Foundation.
Following closely the priorities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the two partner organizations are working and will work extremely actively to preserve the intangible cultural heritage, promote it at national, regional and global level and to preserve it for the future. generations. The traditions of making Chiprovtsi carpets, the traditions of making Pirot carpets, their preservation and promotion, are of great importance for their preservation in the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Serbia.

1 2 Chiprovtsi carpets – an element of the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage Chiprovtsi carpets – an element of the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage

The project activities have been implemented in good quality and on time. All those involved in their performance have worked diligently and tirelessly. The project was supported by state institutions, local authorities, the non-governmental sector, civil society, media, etc., who, using their potential, contributed to the good implementation of all activities. The two non-governmental organizations, taking into account and in compliance with Article 1; 2; 11,12,13,14 of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of 2003, assist the governmental institutions in their activities for the preservation of the elements of the intangible cultural heritage .

Chiprovtsi carpets – an element of the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage

Intangible cultural heritage is that eternal power that draws and heralds the spiritual bond of the past-present of humanity, since it existed for times to come.

Bistritsa grandmothers – an element of the intangible
world UNESCO cultural heritage

An inherited tradition and culture that is constantly enriched with new achievements in modern times is the key to tomorrow’s sustainable development. So, just as the natural world is diverse, so is the intangible cultural heritage associated with the specific geological and geographical environment of its origin and development, with people of different races, tribes and peoples – its bearers.

5 6 Cookery – an element of UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage Nesting – an element of
UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage

Their mutual understanding and understanding, generated by the centuries-old communication between them in their quest for survival, development and future for generations, encourages their respect for each other, contributes to their social cohesion and promotes cultural dialogue in the vast cultural diversity.

Intangible cultural heritage is a major source of identity – a sense of belonging to a particular human community or communities, and through them – to society as a whole. It is also a real indicator of the spiritual elevation of man and community, marked by intellect, the brightness of talents, with a foothold in the deep roots of culture, developed and enriched in time. Intelligence is a quality that contributes to tolerance and tolerance among people, to the receptivity of cultural values and to cultural diversity.

Martenitsa – an element of the intangible cultural
world heritage of UNESCO

Before, during and after the implementation of the project, particular attention is paid to the contribution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to the achievement of the objectives and results achieved in the project.


The project has contributed to raising public awareness at the national and international level, and to increasing the visibility of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), based on the active and transparent activities of the World Organization in Bulgaria, Serbia and Southeastern Europe and in the whole world. The activities carried out were in accordance with the adopted rules and ethical standards of UNESCO.

On 26 February 2020, an organizational-informational meeting of the Liaison Committee (Managing Authority) of the UNESCO NGO and the UNESCO NGO Sector was held at the UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, Fontenay 7. NGO representatives from all over the world attended the meeting.

The hall in which the annual meeting is held
and the NGO representatives present

The Liaison Committee provided information on the activities carried out in 2019. It was pointed out that despite the tense situation around the world, the activity of the non-governmental sector was maintained at a good level. It was emphasized that greater activity and commitment was needed by all to meet the needs and emerging challenges.

The Business Presidium at the Annual Meeting

The meeting was attended by Ms. Petya Zelensky, Permanent Representative of the Sozopol Foundation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). At the beginning of her speech, Ms. Zelensky congratulated all those present on behalf of Mr. Cyril Arnautski, President of the Sozopol Foundation. She introduced the audience to the focused and active work of Sozopol Foundation at national and international level.

Ms. Petya Zelensky, Permanent Representative
of Sozopol Foundation to UNESCO

Ms. Petya Zelensky brought to the knowledge of all the good implementation of the Project: “Chiprovtsi Carpets – World Heritage, Generational Preserve”. He informed them that the project was implemented correctly and precisely in partnership between the Sozopol Foundation, Bulgaria and the Ring of the Balkans Foundation, Serbia. She emphasized that the project was implemented thanks to financial assistance provided by UNESCO through the Participation Program 2018-2019, and thanked the two non-governmental organizations and local communities for the World Organization.