Article by Richard Fawcus. 5 December 2018.

Representatives from Europa Nostra meet with the Bulgarian press in the Buzludzha monument.

Photograph by Nicola Miller, 2018.

The 10,000 word report details a comprehensive plan for saving the monument.

In March 2018, the leading European heritage group Europa Nostra named the Buzludzha Memorial House as one of the seven most endangered heritage sites in Europe. The following 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 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 lengthy and comprehensive report was authored by Mario Aymerich, Technical Advisor to the European Investment Bank Institute, with considerable input from Richard Morten and Dora Ivanova.

The next necessary stages on Buzludzha’s road to rehabilitation will involve petitioning the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture to recognise the site with official ‘monument’ status, as well as settling the question of ownership and deciding which regional government is responsible for managing the site. There will then need to be a full architectural survey conducted on the structure, before it is possible to create a final, feasible plan for restoration. Meanwhile, the question of funding also remains, and applications are currently being sent to potential grantees in the hope of finding support for this work.

There is a great deal of work still to do, but the new Europa Nostra report is an exciting and timely step in the right direction. You can read the full report on the Europa Nostra website.