Will the Socialists reverse the fortunes of Bulgaria’s “UFO” monument?

27 June 2017

A longstanding ruin porn star, Bulgaria's famous communist Buzludzha Monument — known to many internationally as the UFO — may soon be reclaimed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP): could this pave the way to a brighter, less crumbling future?

Built in tribute to the foundation of the Bulgarian Socialist movement in 1891, the Buzludzha Monument was completed in 1981 but fell into disrepair after the collapse of the communist regime in 1989. Now discussions are underway between Bulgaria's Minister for Regional Development, Nikolay Nankov, and the leadership of the BSP regarding returning control of the monument to the party.

These discussions follow a letter sent by BSP leader Socialist leader Kornelia Ninova to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on 16 June, pushing for property rights.

“The first and foremost thing is to stop the decay because the monument is in a horrible condition,” BSP MP Krum Zarkov said in an interview with Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, emphasising that the party's key aim is to first halt the monument's decay, before later re-developing it.

Restoration would be partly funded from the BSP's budget, with other finance delivered through a nationwide crowdfunding campaign, akin to the campaign for the monument's original construction during the 1970s and 80s.

What are the chances that the BSP will get its wish? A glimmer of hope for the party was a proposal made by Bulgaria's Council of Ministers in 2011, during Mr Borissov's first term as prime minister, offering to transfer the rights to the monument to the BSP for free.

These recent discussions surrounding the Buzludzha Monument are the latest in a series of initiatives regarding the site. Last June Mr Borissov promised to restore the monument after meeting with 26-year-old Bulgarian architect Dora Ivanova, who proposed that the monument be turned into a museum of Bulgarian history as part of a project called “Buzludzha – Memory of Time”.

Source: Balkan Insight