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Round Table Socialist Heritage - Heritage at Risk


Socialist Heritage - Heritage at Risk" was the current and urgent topic of a round table organized by the Bulgarian National Committee of ICOMOS and  hosted by the Union of Architects in Bulgaria (UAB). The expert meeting took place on the 20th of August and offered a forum for rethinking and reassessment of the architectural and monumental heritage of the socialist period. The idea for such meeting in Bulgaria answered the need for an objectified and professional approach to the subject, which also reflects critically more emotional and highly polarized political attitudes.http://www.kultura.bg/bg/article/view/23930

In the foreground the value of urban planning, architecture and monumental art from the period 1944-1989 was presented, as well as their politically independent development and contribution. An important topic was the current status of this heritage and the increased quality loss through carelessness or interference with economic interests. As a main problem and risk was highlighted the lack of public awareness about the value of the architecture from this period. Emphasis was placed on the discussion of options and strategies for its conservation at national and international level.

The event was attended by interested specialists - representatives of UAB and ICOMOS, including members of ISC20C SocHeritage sub-committee, as well as citizens and politicians. The meeting offered the floor to both established and young professionals to present their theses, work on the topic and to raise questions for discussion.

In the intensive closing discussion professionals, citizens and experts agreed that the discussion should be continued and intensified on a multinational scale including neighbouring post-socialist countries. The participants expressed their common desire, that ICOMOS could initiate and publish a special Heritage at Risk report on theatened post-war heritage in post-socialist countries. The experts present largely recommended to build an ICOMOS website on SocHeritage (SocRealism and SocModernism) to provide a supranational platform to document and to discuss current issues of Socialist Heritage - Heritage At Risk. 

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