NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ opens an exhibition of Nayden Petkov’s artworks at the Sredets Gallery, under the patronage of Bulgaria’s Vice President, Iliana Yotova
The ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund concluded the year in which it celebrated its 40th anniversary with a triple celebration. Under the patronage of the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ms Iliana Yotova, the Fund presented an exhibition of works by the eminent artist Nayden Petkov, personally selected and donated by him. Slava Ivanova, the Fund’s Executive Director, opened the exhibition at the Sredets Gallery. The Minister of Culture, Atanas Atanasov, presented Assoc. Prof. Mihail Maleev, D.Sc., with NEF’s Honorary Crest as the founder and long-time director of the ‘Earth and Man’ Museum and a generous donor of artefacts—semi-precious gems and minerals—that he discovered himself.
The Chief Executive Officer of Bulgarian Posts, Deyan Daneshki, and the newly appointed Minister, together with Slava Ivanova and Svetlin Balezdrov, the creator of the philatelic item, officially validated the stamp dedicated to the 40th anniversary of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’.
This cascade of events took place in Sredets Gallery of the Ministry of Culture, in front of paintings from Nayden Petkov’s most fruitful period.
In her inspired speech, the Fund’s Executive Director quoted Bulgaria’s largest donor, Evlogiy Georgiev: ‘Only my hope that I will be able to participate in the thriving of humanity permits me to die peacefully.’ This idea has become the motto of NEF. Slava Ivanova noted that over its four decades of existence, more than 80,000 donations have been made through ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’.
Vice President Iliana Yotova was unable to attend the event, but sent a congratulatory address read out by Milena Dimitrova. It stated: ‘The Fund has made a well-deserved contribution to the strengthening of our cultural heritage, outside Bulgaria too. This is at least the third common direction in our work; I hope that, in years to come, we shall unite our efforts to include Bulgarians around the world through statesmanlike wisdom.’
The Fund’s celebration was one of the first events Atanas Atanasov attended as Minister of Culture. Nevertheless, he showed a committed understanding of NEF’s activities, as donorship is his long-standing passion. The Minister showed sincere interest in the various initiatives of ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ and, in his speech, expressed the hope that Bulgarians living abroad would become more energetically involved in them.
Atanas Atanasov presented the Fund’s Honorary Crest to his long-time friend and donor, Assoc. Prof. Mihail Maleev, D.Sc., who surprised the audience with a speech sparkling with positive energy, at the end of which he quoted a verse by the poet Yanko Dimov:
‘But surely, in the world,
‘There must be something beyond bread,
‘Beyond self-interest, beyond the dark instinct
‘Never say die!
‘Rise above all miseries, with a smile,
‘Even if it is perceived as a tic.’
The validation of the stamp dedicated to the 40th anniversary of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ was the culmination of the evening. The Chief Executive Officer of Bulgarian Posts, Deyan Daneshki, noted that the philatelic item had a print run of 10,000, and praised the artist Svetlin Balezdrov for his outstanding graphic achievement.
After that, over a glass of wine, the Minister acquainted himself with the Fund’s manifold activities; the donative platform, Causa.bg; publication of the novel, ‘Dobry’, which has already gratuitously reached hundreds of children outside Bulgaria; ‘Bread’, the exhibition by Atanas Katchamakoff at Haus Wittgenstein; and the ‘River of Tolerance’ Art Festival. He also learned that NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ was the only Bulgarian organisation to enjoy the status of official relations with UNESCO, under whose patronage the youth art festival was held.