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Participants of the International Conference on the Cultural Heritage Preservation, Held in Sofia Visit the National Assembly
May 8, 2009

“International Conference on the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage and the Promotion of Cultural Diversity - a Response to Globalization” attendants met at the National Assembly with Georgi Pirinski on May 8, 2009. The guests were joint by MP Atanas Merdzhanov from the Coalition of Bulgaria PG, Fikret Shabanov from the parliamentary group of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Stanislav Stanilov PG “Ataka” and Andrey Batashov (NMSS).
The Chairman of the National Assembly noticed his appreciation for the interest shown towards Bulgaria on behalf of UNESCO’s leadership and thanked the Bulgarian ambassador to France and permanent representative to UNESCO, Mrs. Irina Bokova, for the initiative to organize the visit.

He informed the guests that lately the National Assembly has discussed in details and adopted a new Law on the Protection and Preservation of the Cultural Heritage. In his view the new Law deals with a delicate issue for the Bulgarian society, due to the fact that the country bears a rich cultural heritage now seriously threaten by illegal trafficking and misappropriation. He mentioned that the law has stirred up different opinions but was finally adopted and its main achievement was to recognize the responsibility of the state and the society to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of Bulgaria for the benefit of its citizens and for the visiting foreigners, notwithstanding the challenges.

The guests, from UNESCO’s member countries such as Nigeria, Honduras, Morocco, Lebanon, Hungary etc. expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to visit the “temple of the Bulgarian parliamentary life” and underscored Mrs. Bokova’s help for their acquaintance with the cultural monuments of Bulgaria and for her contributions to the preservation of the World’s historic and cultural riches.

The guests visited the plenary hall and were introduced to the history and present of the National Assembly and the architectural value of the building, erected back in 1884 and declared a cultural monument. The National Assembly chairman acquainted the guests with the Constitution of Turnovo, explaining that it was adopted by representatives of different ethnic groups and religious denominations in 1879, and based on democratic principles, which very few countries professed at the time. He emphasized that the Constitution now in force in Bulgaria was adopted in 1991 and based at the same values and principles as the first Turnovo Constitution.
The meeting ended with a collective photograph of the attendants in front of the National Assembly.
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