‘Mystery flight to remove 13 centuries of Bulgaria monument’ in Sofia was publicity stunt

Media in the Bulgarian capital city – and its chief architect – spent hours puzzled by a mysterious helicopter flight supposedly arranged to remove from outside the National Palace of Culture, NDK, the crumbling massive eyesore that is the monument to 1300 years of the Bulgarian state.

Put up in 1981 to mark a celebration of Bulgaria’s 13 centuries, the work repeatedly has been the subject of calls for its removal and currently a process is underway to come up with proposals about what to do with it.

A February 4 2013 announcement that a helicopter was to “remove the monument” brought reporters and photographers to the scene. The aircraft arrived, circled briefly with a long metal cable waving beneath it, and then departed into the grey sky.

Sofia’s chief architect Petar Dikov told journalists that the municipality knew nothing about the flight, adding that in any case it would hardly be possible for the helicopter to have lifted up and carried away the 500-ton metal and concrete object.

Later, news website Mediapool established from the company, Heli Air, that the purpose of the flight had been to generate curiosity about forthcoming similar flights, but declined to identify the client. Reportedly, it was believed that the flight may have been arranged as part of a forthcoming campaign to publicise the launch of a new television news channel.

Authorities said that a flight plan had been filed, meaning that the helicopter had permission for the flight over the Sofia city centre.

(Photo of NDK, near which the object stands: valix/flickr.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

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