‘I knew I had to do something’: A Bulgarian architect on preserving a monument to her country’s horrific past | News

The defaced Buzludzha monument as it appeared in 2019. Photo: Rob Schofield/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

What about a building that was built to glorify an oppressive communist system but, ravaged by rain and snow and stripped bare by thieves, is now a wreck? Should it be torn down in the spirit of considering history – just as statues of Confederate generals were toppled in the United States and monuments of Soviet hegemony were torn down across Ukraine, especially since the Russian invasion in February?– The New York Times

After receiving two rounds of funding totaling $245,000 from the Getty Foundation in consecutive years, the ever-popular photographer’s subject is struggling to raise the millions needed to restore him to the former “glory” seen in what his designer Georgi Stoilov called “morally and materially superior times.”

Related on Archinect: The Nonument Group: Digitally Preserving Architectural Treasures Before They’re Lost

Bulgarian architect Dora Ivanova, who is leading a new campaign to preserve the Buzludzha monument, says she ‘does not want to glorify the past’ but rather intends to use her grimy edifice as an educational tool that fills a void in his native nation’s national conversation about his less-than-sterling communist history.

“We don’t want a museum to freeze everything as it was,” she told the New York Times, “but a place for discussing the past. The idea is to overcome this silence, the shame of talking about what happened.

About Byron G. Fazio

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