Tuesday, April 25, 2017

243. The Bells for Peace



Today is ANZAC Day – ( … a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders and those from the neighbouring Pacific Islands  "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served" … ) – and so wanting to acknowledge this important day in some manner here on the other side of the planet to Australia, I made a visit to The Bells Peace Monument in outer suburban Sofia.

 


First it was a short ride on the Metro, then a good walk on a beautiful almost cloud-free day through the New Sofia Business District to the Kambanite Park - with snow-capped Mount Vitosha in the background..

 

Here, in the center of the park is a complex consisting of a huge 37 metre high concrete monument comprising of 4 vertical pillars oriented according to the four cardinal directions, and a spiral composition of two hemispheres in which seven bells are placed - representing the seven continents. The motto of the monument is “Unity, Creativity, Beauty”, and it is engraved in Bulgarian and in English on one of the pillars - and in a circle around this major monument are placed a number of much smaller concrete structures on which bells are hung representing different countries (100 bells were hung in 1979 ).


The Bells Monument was originally built as part of the celebrations for the first ever International Year of the Child in 1979. Back then the structure was officially called the ‘Banner of Peace’. The initiative kept going for about a decade and the four assemblies that were held at the complex during this period played host to several thousand children who came from nearly 140 countries to celebrate peace. The event ceased in 1990 and the complex fell into a state of disrepair and some of the bells were stolen. The site is now open again as a place of interest and security  measures have ensured no more bells are stolen and the gardens that surround the structure are well manicured. And surrounded by a beautiful park-like forest, the site is very much a haven of peace.

 



 

 ... Palestine ...

... Algeria and Mongolia ...
 
 ... Laos ...

 ... International Children's Assembly ..

 
 ... Ghana ...

... Bulgarian Health Collective ...
 
 ... Brunei Darussalam ...

 

 ... Japan ...

 ... Republic of Korea ...


 ... Islamic Republic of Iran ...


 
 ... this flower reminded me of wattle
and made me feel rather homesick ...
( Wattle is the national flower of Australia )

 ... Australia ...
( unfortunately the bell has lost its donger ... !!! )
... but I gave it a good hard gong anyway
with my 1947 Australian penny talisman ...

 


 ... Vietnam ...

 ... Bulgaria ...

 ... USA ...

 

 ... Cuba ...



... China ... 
 

 ... Afghanistan ...

 ... PDR Korea ...

... USSR ...
 
... Lebanon ...
 
 ... unfortunately many bells have been stolen ...

 

 ... from the children of Bulgaria living abroad ...

 ... Syria ...

 


Needless to say, as I wandered this very special site on this very special day, I gonged these bells very loudly in the hope that our world leaders would hear this ringing for world peace ...


Saturday, April 22, 2017

242. Modern Art at the National Gallery

On this late April morning when the temperature drops to 4 degrees and Mother Nature decides that a light blanket of snow is in order for Sofia, I rug up and head out for my next 'art experience' with a visit to the third annex of the National Art Gallery - also known as National Gallery Square 500

The Gallery is situated in the 19th-century Neoclassic former Royal Printing Office - the edifice of which was built between 1882 and 1884 during the rule of knyaz Alexander Battenberg; to the designs of Austrian architect Friedrich Schwanberg - and then reconstructed after it suffered significant damage during the Allied bombing of Sofia in World War II. 

The gallery itself was founded on 5 November 1985 as the art gallery of the Cyril and Methodius Foundation, its stock being later enlarged by donations, as well as by the addition of the National Art Gallery's foreign art section.


The Gallery has a collection of over 42,000 art works, and the current exhibition of about 2,000 art works - half of which are by Bulgarian artists and the other come from foreign artists - represents Modern Art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The works are curated in 28 small galleries over three floors of the building and were a joy to wander through almost solo - except for the ever-present and vigilant gallery guards.



 Self Portrait - Ivan Dimitrov - 1884

 Dr Teofana Pavlovich - Nikolay Pavlovich - 1880

 Ivan Shishmanov - Ivan Mrkvicka - 1884

Return from Market - Yaroslav Veshin - 1898

 Toilette - Vlaho Bukovac - 1894

 
 Artist Dragan Danailov - Georgi Mitov - 1898
..... 

... and my fav in the collection ...
 
 
Autumn Leaves - Stefan Ivanov - 1906

 
Petko Yu - Nikola Mihailov - 1908

Two Willows - Ivan Angelov - 1912

Went like a Dream - Estir Slepian - 1912

Young Cowherd - Heinrich von Zugel - 1912


Jeanne Becu - Jean-Jacques Caffieri - 1770s

 
 Young Woman - Jules Pascin - 1912

 
Male Portrait - unknown artist - 1830s

Polish Woman - Nikola Marinov - 1923

 
 Portrait of E.Sht - Kiril Tzonev - 1928

 
Vera Ivanova - Illya Petrov - 1929


Marla Vassileva - Dechko Uzunov - 1929

Small Restaurant - Albert Andre - 1937

Female Nude - Vera Ivanova - 1930


Self Poprtrait - Demo Sotirov - 1933

Shyness - Andrey Nikolov - 1915
Job the Pious - Boris Denev - 1933

Roman Woman - Celestin Medovic - 1930s


Poetress Dora Gabe - Stefan Ivanov - 1930


 The Glass Jug - Ivan Nenov - 1933

 
Two Nude Figures - Kiril Tzonev - 1933
Truth Unacknowledged - Alme-Jules Dalou - 1900

 
Woman Dressing Herself - Ivan Nenov - 1936
Man from Yastrebino - Ivan Nenov - 1978

Valentina Donini - Andrey Nikolov - 1919

Nina - Andrey Nikolov - 1921

 
Female Portrait - Illya Petrov - 1941

 
Chepelare - Vassil Barakov - 1943

Spirit and Matter - Andrey Nikolov - 1924

 
1907 - Corneliu Baba - 1951
Nude Figure - Ivan Funev - 1938

 
 Pieta - Ivan Kirkov - 1963

Morning - Endre Domanovskzy - 1965


Woman Bathing - Zoe Baicoianu - 1940s


Six Columns - Ivan Rusev - 1990

 

Construction and Spheres - Dimitar Buyukliyski - 1978

Interior - Dimitar Buyukliyski - 1985




Self Portrait - Corneliu Baba - 1981

Terrain - Georgi Bozhilov - 1991

The Poor Moon of the Peasants - Jose Caballero - 1990

Torso - Lyuben Dimitrov - 1940


So much beautiful art to thrill my senses ... My next visit will complete my exploration of the National Art Gallery's collection of Bulgarian art, when I check out the contemporary collection - housed in a specially built section at the back of this grand building ... stay tuned.