Controversy surrounds new statue of Tsar Samuil in Sofia

Surrounded by controversy, a four-metre-high statue of 10th century Bulgarian ruler Tsar Samuil was to be unveiled in central Sofia on June 8, amid calls for a postponement and rethink of the placing of the statue and with the row extending even to the appearance of its “glow in the dark” eyes.

tsar samuil eyes

Critics have likened the statue – the height of which is further augmented by a 2.2 metre pedestal – to something out of Nikola Gruevski’s grandiosely kitsch Skopje 2020 project, with one suggesting that Gruevski be invited to Sofia to unveil the Tsar Samuil statue.

tsar samuil vertical

Bulgarian head of state President Rossen Plevneliev was to preside at the unveiling ceremony at the statue’s spot outside the historic St Sofia basilica, with Bulgarian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Neofit scheduled to pronounce a blessing.

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