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About ICOMOS Bulgaria

Bulgarian national committee (BNC) of ICOMOS was found in 1964 right after the establishment of ICOMOS. In 1996 it was registered as a non-profitable association under the Persons and Family Act. That same year BNC organized in Sofia the 11 General Assembly of ICOMOS, which has been pronounced the most successful one so far. BNC’s activity has entered a new phase of active partnership with international organizations, national and local authorities. In 2002 BNC was re-registered under the new Act on non-profitable juridical persons as organization acting for the public benefit.

At present Bulgarian national committee (BNC) of ICOMOS have 162 members. Three are institutional - the Ministry of Culture, the Union of Architects in Bulgaria, the University of Architecture, Construction and Geodesy - Sofia. The other 158 are individual members, which form a multidisciplinary community of outstanding experts such as architects, engineers, artists, archaeologists, tourism actors, jurists, etc., who work in various fields of the cultural heritage – its conservation, management and promotion. In accordance with its Statute and in line with the objectives and tasks of ICOMOS - the international organization to which it belongs, ICOMOS Bulgarian National Committee (BNC) carries out a wide range of activities:

  1. Implements international programs and projects aimed at providing financial resources for cultural heritage conservation, management, and promotion; manages the funds allocated for the implementation of specific projects (“The Thracian tomb near the village of Sveshtari – open to visit”, “Research, consolidation and waterproof of the Rock churches near the village of Ivanovo”, “Consolidation, architectural and mural restoration and exhibit of the church “St. Dimitar” in Boboshevo”, “Conservation and restoration of the church “St. Stephan” in Nessebar”, “Restoration of the monuments of culture in the Architectural and Archaeological reserve “Ancient Plovdiv” etc.) develops and implements national and international projects for the promotion and use of the cultural heritage as a resource both for its preservation as well as for the sustainable development of society; creates and maintains national and international partnership networks in this field (the project “National network of cultural itineraries” an d the trans-national project “Cultural itineraries of South-East Europe”, awarded with the prize in the field of “Culture” for 2002 and the special prize of the Delegation of the European Commission in Bulgaria, the project “Integrated development of ecological and cultural tourism in the protected area “Natural park “Russenski Lom”, etc.)Cooperates with international government and non-government organisations like: UNESCO, the World Heritage Committee, the International Centre for Conservation and Restoration of Monuments in Rome (ICCROM), the Cultural Heritage Committee at the Council of Europe, the European Institute for Cultural Itineraries, the World Tourism Organization, the International Council on Museums (ICOM), etc. Participates in the activities of the ICOMOS International Committees (projects “European heritage network” and “European heritage days” – of the Council of Europe in cooperation with the European Union; “Heritage in risk” – of the “Blue Shield” network; “Regional program for the cultural and natural heritage of South-East Europe” – of the Council of Europe, etc.)Studies methodological and specific problems (legislative, managerial and practical) and develops programs, plans, expert opinions; organizes scientific meetings, symposia, conferences, scientific trips, practice training, exhibitions and other public events.
  2. Cooperates with central and local authorities, NGOs and the private business, exchanges experience and coordinates joint actions for heritage conservation and management. It has particularly intensive contacts with the Ministry of Culture, the National Institute for Cultural Monuments, the University of Architecture, the Union of Architects in Bulgaria, the Association for Cultural Tourism, with regional and municipal authorities.

An expression of recognition for the overall contribution of the BNC to the preservation of Bulgarian cultural heritage was the awarding in 2006 of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage “Europa Nostra” in the category “Dedicated Service to Heritage”.

The NBC was awarded the Big Prize and the Prize for Culture of the Delegation of the European Union in Bulgaria (2002), the PRIX EHD (2000) Award – a joint initiative of the European Union and of the Council of Europe. Its projects were selected within a series of international programmes.  In 2003 the project of the BNC for the integration of cultural and eco-tourism in the Rusenski Lom Natural Park (implemented in partnership with the Cultural tourism association) was selected within the competition for innovative projects under the Project „Preservation of the biological diversity and economic growth” (2002), funded by the United States Agency for International Development and the Government of Bulgaria.

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