Three Bulgarian museums are participating in the first large-scale collaboration between America and Southeast Europe

Bulgarian treasures are part of an exclusive traveling exhibition in America

Three Bulgarian museums are participating in the first large-scale collaboration between America and Southeast Europe.

The first stop of the traveling exhibition, part of the "First Rulers of Europe" project initiated by the Field Museum in Chicago, is the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York, USA, where it opened today, September 21 under the title "Ritual and Memory : The Ancient Balkans and Beyond'.

The exhibit features cultural assets from eleven countries of the Old Continent and will be open to visitors until February 19, 2023 before traveling to Chicago. The project "The First Rulers of Europe" is the first large-scale collaboration of its kind between North America and South-Eastern Europe, and three Bulgarian museums occupy a central place in it.

The New York exhibition with some of its most valuable exhibits includes the National History Museum in Sofia and the Regional History Museum in Ruse, which will introduce the American public to some of their most enigmatic treasures. Among them are the unique Borovo treasure from the first half of the IV century BC. and the finds from the barrow grave of a Thracian aristocrat from the Great Mound near the village of Zlatinitsa, dated to the middle of the XNUMXth century BC, including: a unique gold wreath with appliqués, a signet ring, a kneeler and two rhytons of silver. The gold earring from the first half of the XNUMXrd century BC also makes an impression with its jewelry making. discovered near Sinemorets, with the ancient Greek goddess of victory Nike driving a two-horse chariot.

"I am extremely happy that this exhibition is being realized on a scale that will present to the North American public the history of Europe from ancient times, of which we, the Bulgarians, are also a part. It is no coincidence that the National History Museum is behind the realization of this project. With its funds and experts, the museum is the richest cultural institution, storing artifacts from all historical eras, representing the enormous role of the Balkans in the creation, development and decline of ancient civilizations. I am glad that our compatriots across the window will be able to touch the elegance of objects of cultural importance." shared Associate Professor Bonni Petrunova, director of the National History Museum.

The exhibition also includes valuable artifacts from the Neolithic period to the Iron Age, displaying over 200 rarely exhibited ritual exhibits from 27 museum institutions that transport the public into the life and beliefs of the ancient civilizations of the Balkans.

"The biggest meaning for our participation is in building ties with the Bulgarian community in North America, which recognizes the Field Museum as its friend. No less important is the scientific community, which, through the artifacts of the Ruse museum, will touch the hierarchies in ancient societies that formed rituals and memory for the first rulers of Europe", said Prof. Dr. Nikolay Nenov, director of the Regional History Museum - Ruse.

The Bulgarian participation is realized with the financial support of the "America for Bulgaria" Foundation and includes 32 exhibits that have preserved the spirit of the peoples inhabiting our lands in the early eras of the development of civilizations.

"This project is a unique opportunity for Bulgaria to promote its cultural heritage among the general public in North America. We hope this exhibition will attract more American tourists to visit Bulgaria and get to know its rich culture, beauty and the opportunities offered by tourism in Bulgaria." says Nancy Schiller, president of the America for Bulgaria Foundation

Over the next two years, the project will host a series of exhibitions that will introduce the American public to archaeological artifacts from the region stretching from Stara Planina to the Carpathian Basin. From New York, the exhibition will travel to the Field Museum in Chicago, where it will be exhibited in March 2023. Part of the gold finds from the oldest worked gold treasure in the world, discovered in the Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis and dated to the period between 4600 and 4200 BC, where the exhibition with the impressive Bulgarian treasures is joined by the Regional History Museum - Varna.

Among the initiators of the unique project is Dr. Petranka Nedelcheva, head of "Exhibition and International Activities" at the NIM, who spent two years in Chicago during her postdoctoral specialization at the Field Museum, realized with a scholarship from the "America for Bulgaria" Foundation ". In this period, the idea of ​​presenting our rich cultural heritage in Chicago, where the largest Bulgarian community is also born.

It is an interesting coincidence that with this exhibition Bulgaria once again impresses the American public in Chicago exactly 130 years after the first participation of our now free country in an international event. In 1893, Bulgaria was invited to participate with its stand at the World Exhibition in Chicago, also described in the emblematic work of Aleko Konstantinov "To Chicago and Back".

From September 2022 to January 2025, the large-scale international project will be implemented in three of the most prestigious museum institutions in North America - the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York, the Field Museum in Chicago and the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, and has aims to reveal the story of how humans gained power and influence through amassing wealth and controlling trade, technology, ritual and warfare.

On the part of the National History Museum, the project was carried out under the leadership of Assoc. Dr. Bonni Petrunova and a team composed of: chap. Dr. Petranka Nedelcheva, Pavlina Davlova, Galina Draganova, Antonia Stankova, Dr. Ralitsa Katsova, Michaela Zaneva, Mario Damyanov, Alexander Vatov, Mikhail Vaklinov, Teresa Yovcheva, Magdalena Marinova, Ioan Donev, Todor Dimitrov.

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