European Heritage Days 2016 at Sandanski Municipality


In the period 16-18 September, Sandanski Municipality hosted the European Heritage Days 2016 for Bulgaria. Mr. Kiril Arnautski, Chairman of Sozopol Foundation and prof. Violeta Nesheva, Chief Scientific Adviser for Cultural Heritage at Sozopol Foundation, attended the prestigious forum on the personal invitation of Mr. Kiril Kotev, Mayor of the Municipality of Sandanski.

Mr. Kiril Kotev, Mayor of Sandanski Municipality,
Ms. Zornitsa Organdzhieva, Deputy Mayor of Sandanski Municipality
and Mr. Kiril Arnautski, Chairman of Sozopol Foundation

European Heritage Days is a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and European Union, which is held every year under the motto “Europe – common heritage”. The Ministry of Culture is the coordinator and main organizer of the forum European Heritage Days for Bulgaria. The event was held throughout the territory of Bulgaria, as each year a particular region is defined. This year’s host of the prestigious European forum in Bulgaria was the Municipality of Sandanski, which confirms the tendency for the promotion of small municipalities and regions, characterized by a high concentration of sites and elements of cultural heritage.

The official opening of this year’s European Heritage Days was on September 16 at 7 pm at the Pontifical Basilica in the town of Sandanski. Special guests at the event were Deputy Minister of Culture Assoc. Prof. Dr. Boni Petrunova, experts and specialists in the field of cultural heritage, both from the country and abroad.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Boni Petrunova, Deputy Minister of Culture,
during the official opening of the European Heritage Days 2016

Bulgaria’s cultural heritage is a unique wealth, in which are embodied the mind, heart and skillful hands of many generations of different tribes and peoples, which have inhabited the lands for eight millennia. The land of Bulgaria is a crossroad of civilizations since Prehistory, through Antiquity and the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and Modern Times, with a large contribution to the European and world cultural heritage.

During their two-day stay in Sandanski Mr. Arnautski and prof. Nesheva had the opportunity to meet with representatives of state and local authorities, as well as with specialists in the preservation of the rich cultural heritage of Bulgaria. They also discussed implementation of current and future joint initiatives in the accomplishment of national and international projects for conservation of natural and cultural heritage, as well as providing an accessible environment for people with disabilities.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Boni Petrunova, Deputy Minister of Culture and prof. Violeta Nesheva,
Chief Scientific Advisor for Cultural Heritage at Sozopol Foundation

Mr. Vladimir Petkov, Director of the Archaeological Museum –
the town of Sandanski, Mr. Kiril Arnautski, Chairman of Sozopol Foundation,
and Mr. Vangel Antalavichev, Deputy Mayor of Sandanski Municipality

Mr. Anton Kovachev, keeper at the History Museum of Melnik,
Mr. Vladimir Petkov, Director of the Archaeological Museum of Sandanski,
Prof. Nesheva, Chief Scientific Advisor for Cultural Heritage at Sozopol Foundation,
and Mr. Kiril Arnautski, Chairman of Sozopol Foundation

Sozopol Foundation, as an international NGO, actively working for the safeguarding of natural and cultural heritage. In carrying out its activities the organisation cooperates with government officials in Bulgaria, local authorities and civil society, realizing the need for joint efforts of all stakeholders for the achievement of sustainable development and economic growth in the country.