‘Bronze House’ at site of communist’s former mausoleum splits Bulgarians

An art installation on the site of a demolished mausoleum for Bulgarian communist legend Georgi Dimitrov? Even ahead of receiving final approval, the idea has caused an uproar in Sofia.

It is impossible to tell exactly where the massive columned building once stood on what is now the yellow-cobblestoned Battenberg Square in central Sofia. Near where lines of people once stood to gain access to the communist crypt there is now an empty space between a park and parking lot.

Finding a new use for the former site of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum, which was demolished in 1999, would help “overcome the trauma of the past,” said Viennese-based Bulgarian artist Plamen Deyanoff.

His plans for an art installation titled “Bronze House” to commemorate Bulgaria’s time at the helm of the rotating EU Council presidency in 2018 are no less imposing than the mausoleum that once stood there. Though his work met with support from the Austrian Embassy in Sofia, views were divided when it was presented at the New Bulgarian University on Wednesday.

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