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Stoyanov, Totko

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Dnevnik - Bulgaria | 10/03/2009

Protecting Bulgaria's cultural heritage

The daily Dnevnik comments on the new cultural heritage legislation passed in Bulgaria despite fierce opposition: "It is an open secret that [the law] is about the interests of treasure hunters and dealers and smuggler networks that supply Bulgarian and also foreign collectors with archaeological artefacts. In many cases the latter are priceless objects, not just because of their value for the ancient history of the Balkans and for Thracian, ancient and medieval Bulgarian culture, but also for the world's cultural heritage. … It is the country's duty to protect [Bulgaria's cultural heritage], to research it and make it accessible to an international public. The opponents of the bill and their lobbyists conceive the freedom and inviolability of private property in a democratic state as the total freedom to take possession of anything in one's own interest. Such freedom exists neither in Greece nor in Italy - both countries with a rich cultural heritage."

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