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Bulgaria: Relocating Soviet Army Monument a Priority, Sofia Administration Says

The relocation of the Soviet Army Monument is among the priority issues on which the Sofia district administration is working, the administration said on August 4.

The administration said that it was responding to interest shown by civil society and the Sofia city council decision.

Sofia city council voted on March 9 to instruct mayor Yordanka Fandukova to ask the state to move the Soviet Army Monument from the centre of the Bulgarian capital city. At government level, nothing happened about the matter in the months during which there was a Sofia district governor appointed by President Roumen Radev.

On August 2, Bulgaria’s pro-Western government, that took office in June, changed the status of the state property where the monument stands, in a move to facilitate the city council removing the monument from its current location.

The district administration said that the legal decision on this topic was the result of the committed participation of several institutions.

“The procedure has been started and it is moving as quickly as possible according to the deadlines provided by law.”

The administration said that on August 3, the Sofia district governor had written to Fandukova, requesting the presentation of certified copies of the available project documentation, which served for the construction of the Soviet Army Monument, as well as a certified copy of the plan regarding the relocation of the monument, that been compiled in the 1990.

An inquiry was also sent to the director of the National Gallery regarding the possibility of the sculptural figures and bas-reliefs from the monument being permanently exhibited in the gallery’s Museum of Socialist Art.

“The district administration of the Sofia region expects a response from the institutions on the two topics raised in a short period of time,” the statement said.

“The public and the media will be kept informed of developments in this important matter in due course,” it said.

The monument was erected in 1954, while Bulgaria was under communist rule. It commemorates the Soviet invasion of Bulgaria at the close of the Second World War. The communist line was that the 1944 invasion, which led to the end of the monarchy and to decades of communist rule, was a “liberation”.

Those who oppose the place of the monument in a highly visible spot in central Sofia have called, over the years, variously for its dismantling or for it to be moved to the Museum of Socialist Art.

The monument has been the target of daubings frequently in recent years, including in solidarity with Ukraine.

Source : Sofiaglobe