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  issue 4, year X, 2003

   Gian Batista Campagnola Italian Ambassador in Bulgaria
Interviewer Nadia Stancheva          page 4

   Our two countries have very much in common. It must be due to the similar geographical location and history of this specific part of Europe. That is why it is important for our two countries to develop and popularize the so-called “southern dimension” of Europe. Not only do we share certain similarities, our nations complement each other. It is good news that there is a great interest and so many initiatives that strengthen our cooperation in branches like he economy and commerce, the social sphere and cultural exchange. The key branches of Italian investments in Bulgaria are the banking sector, energetics, transportation networks and infrastructure. But still we haven’t as yet fully implemented the European idea. Its implementation depends very much on speeding the economic integration of the Eastern countries and on holding an Intergovernmental conference that would finalize the text of the future EU constitution. Those two key issues along with the strengthening of European economy, the stronger presence of the European Union on the political scene worldwide and the security of all the citizens of Europe are top priorities for Italy as a chair nation.
   The first thing that strikes the foreigner here is how beautiful your nature is and the renowned Bulgarian hospitality. The best indicator of your country’s qualities is your people’s courage and determination to pursue a common goal at a time that is crucial for the country’s integration into the EU and NATO.

   Millennium Development Goals
page 11

   In September 2000, at the UN Millennium Summit, world leaders agreed to a set of time bound and measurable goals for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.The subsequent world forums held under the auspices of the UN complete and specify eight goals, 18 concrete goals and 48 indicators for their global implementation. Placed at the heart of the global agenda they are called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). All 191 UN member countries committed to MDG implementation by the year 2015.
   Each country adapts these eight goals to its development level by identifying concrete goals and specific indicators for monitoring. In Bulgaria, the Goals have been adapted to suit a transitional country that is working towards reaching European Union development levels in the near future.
   Bulgarian Millennium Development Goals:

   Italy And The Bulgarian National Renaissance
Plamen Mitev          page 15

   At the time of the Early Bulgarian Renaissance the mutual interest Bulgarians and Italians displayed for each other was restricted to two spheres of life: catholic religion and trading exchange. Missionaries of various Italian orders gradually formed a well-educated elite amongst the Bulgarian Catholics. Coming back to their home country they contributed for the spiritual awakening of the Bulgarian people. During the first half of the 19th century some factory-owners and manufacturers sought the advice and the assistance of their Italian partners and associates - after the Crimean war 48 Italians became closely linked to Bulgaria. At the same time contacts were seriously broadened in the sphere of education. Admittedly, in the pre-Liberation period the number of people who completed their secondary and higher education in Italy was not very impressive - an overall of 35, constituting less than 1% of the educated Bulgarians at the time. Significant contribution to the advancement of Bulgaria’s struggle for liberation was the contact Bulgarian emigrants in Romania had established with Giuzeppe Mazzini. Right after Hadzhi Dimiter and Stefan Karadzha’s detachment was defeated, the revolutionary figures in Bucharest followed Mazzini’s example and formed the Young Bulgaria political group. They insisted on coming into direct contact with the leaders of similar organizations in Central and Western Europe. Thanks to Luben Karavelov and Vassil Levski the universal ideals formulated by Mazzini: “freedom of one’s own kin”, “just political order” and uniting all of European nations in a “sacred union” were the foundation of the Bulgarian national liberation revolution.

   The Autobiographical Notes Of Bishop Rafail D. Popov
Ivan Elenkov       page 18

   The policy of bishop Rafail D. Popov overcame the heavy crisis immediately following the church’s establishment and usually related to the abduction of Archimandrite Joseph Sokolski, Archbishop of the Bulgarian Uniate Church. It was founded in 1860 on the insistence of The Uniate Movement - a radical wing in the Struggle For Church And National Independence, lead by Dragan Tsankov. Awareness of this early movement in its history brings light over the circumstances of the subsequent crisis and makes the bishop’s part in both these events and the entire history of the Eastern Catholic Church in Bulgaria visible. When he took over his duties he was merely 31 years old. His guidance established the priority of religious belief and made him the true founder of the Eastern Catholic Church in Bulgaria.

   Massimo de Giandomenico Director Of The Italian Institute Of Foreign Trade In Bulgaria
Interviewer Tsvetanka Elenkova       page 20

   ICE is a state Agency, which aims to promote Italian economics and export. Italy is the fifth largest industrial country in the world. It has one of the most powerful industrial capacities and is naturally an important factor in international trade.
   The significance of the Italian Institute will not weaken in the future because we are the only specialists that support small and medium entrepreneurs. In fact 99% of the businesses in Italy are small and medium-sized. They need large amounts of information on international markets into which they are just starting to step, and we are their stepping stone.
   The support of Italian interests on the Balkans is among the priorities of Italian legislation. As far as Bulgaria is concerned, you know that Italy has been the biggest foreign trade partner on the Bulgarian market for three years now. The scope of import and export amounts to 25% import and 33% export. Italian investments in Bulgaria are a proof of quality. Italy is paving the way to the European markets for Bulgaria. This is especially true for the textile industry, where the integration between our two countries is strongest. Another point of great interest for us is the electronics industry. There are six Italian companies dealing with electronics in Plovdiv alone. Looking ahead into the future, our interests lie in the area of telecommunications.
   We are the ones who advertise Bulgaria to the world.

   Juliana Doncheva Member of Parliament for the National Movement ‘’Simeon II’’ in the 39th National Assembly,
Interviewer Tsvetanka Elenkova       page 22

   The Bulgaria-Italy Friendship Group consists of 70 Bulgarian MPs. In Italy they are over a hundred. The 39th National Assembly formed the group in the year 2001, while the Italian Parliament only formed it last October. We are still in the process of establishing contacts. There are such friendship groups with other countries as well, not only European, but on a worldwide basis. Of course, the bigger the interest and the national priorities, the bigger the group. So there’s a serious interest in our Italian partners. After all Italy is Bulgaria’s number one investor and trading partner. The groups’ members are from different parties and parliamentary committees and while in the process of adapting our legislation program to the European standards it’s only natural to seek assistance from our Italian colleagues. Something could be done to better our cultural cooperation as well. The important thing is that all hindrances and problems are dealt with legislatively. The future is in the hands of the legislative power. It should pass the right bills as soon as possible.

   Bessarabia 2003 - Preserving The Bulgarian Ethnic Consciousness
Roumen Stoitchkov       page 26

   Ethnic Bulgarians form a solid element in the Taraklia district of Moldova. 67% of the population of the 26 towns and villages in the region are ethnic Bulgarians. The “Olimpii Panov” Community Center here is the first of its kind outside Bulgaria. We also have a Bulgarian song and dance folk ensemble “Patriotism”, a Cultural Club, and a professional theatre, called The Bessarabian Bulgarians’ Theatre, the repertory of which consists almost completely of classic Bulgarian drama.
   The interesting thing is that in public places the foreign influence is almost inevitable. Russian is the unofficial language in which the different ethnic groups communicate with one another.
   But the greatest problem is making a living. Over 50% of the average salary, which is the equivalent of $20-25 and is usually paid with a few months delay, is spent to cover electricity and gas bills. The young people leave Bessarabia to try their luck in Moscow and Kishinev or in the motherland of their ancestors- Bulgaria.
   There are a total of 300 young men and women, whom we call Bessarabian Bulgarians, studying in Universities in Bulgaria. It is only reasonable to ask: Why is it that the University entry exams in Moldova are held in April for Russian students and in June for Bulgarians?
   Many of the people here have one single dream - to be buried in Bulgaria. This was also the dream of their ancestors who left the Motherland so long ago.

   Carrara - The Marble Capital Of The World
Radoslava Petrova       page 29

   Carrara has the most extensive deposits of marble in the world and is the largest center of marble production - 75% of the total world production of marble is exported from here.
   Extensive marble mining and distribution coincide with the heydays of the most powerful empire in history - the Roman Empire. Carrara became its major marble source.
   Initially the Carrara marble was used as a material for plaques, but gradually it found its way into architecture, sculpture and crafts. It was highly valued as a statuary material because of its incredible qualities - white, clear and crystalline, with warm milky tints. Many other varieties were used, too - variegated with blue and gray threads, black, with different patterns /there are over a hundred kinds/.
   The Carrara marble has had the extraordinary fate of traveling through time and space - through the eras of Antiquity, Humanism, the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Romanticism, Neoclassicism - to reach modern times. Without this marble Rome would hardly have been what it is today - the Coliseum, St. Paul’s Cathedral in Vatican City, the Navona Square, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Venice Square and many others would not have been there.
   There is a piece of Carrara marble on every continent on Earth. We see it in Versailles, Bohemia, Madrid, Saint Petersburg... It has been touched and carved by the hands of legendary sculptors like Michelangelo, Donatello, Bernini, Canova etc.

Anna Gagauz       page 31

   There is an intersection on the road to Florence, which leads to Pisa - a relatively small town on the banks of the river Arno. The silhouette of the famous Leaning Tower, the greatest tourist site here, can be seen from afar. In the past it has served both as a lookout and as a beacon. The Tower was originally designed as a bell tower to the cathedral. The construction of the Tower began in 1174 and took 200 years to complete.
   The name of its architect remains unknown to this day. It is also uncertain whether the inclination was the result of an unforeseen subsidence of the ground, or whether it constituted an effect consciously desired by the architect. Recent research shows that the Tower was originally conceived as a straight building, but then it began to give way during the early phases of construction until it probably settled into a certain equilibrium with the subsoil. Later conservation operations caused an increase in the inclination of about 20 centimetres. Today the Tower is closed to the public.
   Pisa is also known for its narrow streets, huddled together houses, typical Italian small squares with red tiles and fountains, cozy little cafes, pizza restaurants, pastry and souvenir shops, as well as for the famous places where one can find incredible varieties of ice cream... and lots and lots of sunshine.

   Salamanca - European Cultural Capital 2002
Emil Aleksandrov       page 35

   Two cathedrals, three universities and the most beautiful Plaza Mayor in Spain - this is Salamanca. It is also the major city in the province bearing the same name, which is part of the autonomous region Castile and Leon, also called Old Castile, which used to be the name for the whole of Spain in the past. The most impressive region in the center of the Province is the Charro Field, covered with vast oak forests, where herds of the sturdy bulls, bred for the famous Spanish bullfights, graze.
   Salamanca is a museum in itself and an example of the successful integration of three cultures - Christian, Islamic and Jewish. Their interlacing here through the centuries has given birth to the Mozarabian art and the splendid Mudejar architecture.
   All the famous names of Spain are linked to the Salamanca University - Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderon, Gongora, Ignacio de Loyola, Unamuno“ Salamanca was chosen to be the 2002 European Cultural Capital.

   The Minotaur, Or The Birth Of The Hybrid
Francoise Frontisi-Ducroux       page 38

   By making the birth of the hybrid possible Daedalus exposes the latent character of Minos’s tyranny. This of course refers to his Athenian portrait from the 5th century B.C. Later on in the works of Greek tragic poets, where the hybrid is depicted as a destructive beast, Minos is strongly reproached for his evil and oppressive deeds. He is obviously not at all perceived as the just king and good legislator, rewarded to become a judge in the kingdom of Hades. “This comes to show how unsound it is to incur the hostility of a city, which is the birthplace of eloquence and song”, Plutarch noted. The author has preserved the main motif of a pseudo-platonic dialog, where the reason for such defamation is the Athenians’ craving for revenge because of the war that Minos had declared and the yearly tribute of children he had imposed on Athens.
   Daedalus’s part in this strategy of destruction is notably two-faced and cunning. One writer from the past century saw in Daedalus a secret agent, serving under the Athenian imperialists, who only pretended to have been banished and sought refuge in Minos’s palace with the sole purpose of undermining his authority. The architect achieved his objective by first contributing to the teratogenesis of the Minotaur /he devised a wooden cow, into which Minos’s wife climbed and mated with the handsome bull - present from Poseidon/ and later to his death, since he helped his cousin Theseus survive by providing Ariadne with the vital ball of thread.

   A Sigh For Italian Cinema Jordan de Meo page       41

   Cinema as an art is a natural synthesis of all other arts and it presently owes its great success to that very synthesis. A strong screenplay is a must for a good movie and that can only be true for a screenplay consisting of a story, which is an artistic vision of life. Mediocrity in the artistic portrayal of life is an offense to world famous cinematic legends and to Italian cinema as well. Once again, as a synthesis the cinematic art inevitably takes into account the contemporary state of music, theater, literature, humanism... And in modern days all of these are in a state of crisis, a deep crisis for which there is one single reason - humaneness has been wounded right in the heart by indifference, apathy, and by the inevitable and incredibly vital nowadays human avarice.
   But Giuseppe Tornatore knows this and with his film Cinema Paradiso he is trying to send a warning that under certain circumstances people become relentless and capable of ruining everything. Their thoughts and desires can lead them to leave their hometowns, to forget their mothers, to decide that sentiment is a human weakness, which has to be avoided, and to demand that they get from life everything and at once. The appearance of such characters in Italian films immediately placed them alongside with the famous American film industry and did only harm to them all.

   The Golden Ages Of Majolica Alberto Bellucci, Director of the National Museum of Decorative Arts, Rome       page 42

   The Italian tradition in ceramics had its golden age from the 15th century through the 18th century - a period of 300 years, beginning with the early Renaissance and ending with the late Baroque. The grafiata technique that can be traced back to Byzantine art is truly remarkable. The pottery was decorated mainly with wavy drawings and figures in tune with the rhythms of Humanism.
   The majolica with rich festive decorations became particularly widely distributed and famous in the 14th century. The pottery was dipped in a special overglaze to become the tin-glazed earthenware, known in Italy since the 13th century.
   The etymology of the term majolica links the technique to the Spanish-Moorish tin-glazed pottery and lusterware, imported in Italy from the island of Majorca.
   Italian majolica is produced in the northern parts of the peninsula between Veneto and Lombardia and as far south as Umbria and Perugia. Over time it has become symbolic of Italian crafts valued worldwide.
   Faenza became the first city to produce decorative majolica, thanks to the fact that it was a major center for export of the earthenware to France and other European countries. Thus the city has engraved its name on all the products known to us today as fience.

   Mariangela Anastazia - A Cosmopolitan Painter
Leonora Angelova       page 44

   1982 - MA in Latin-American Literature, UNAM, Mexico
   A diploma in the art of painting, Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris
   1981 - Mural Painting, San Carlos Academy, Mexico City
   1980 - French Language and Literature, Sofia University “St. Kliment Okhridski”
   1979 - Graphic Arts, Mexico City
   She has had over 20 solo exhibitions - in Bulgaria, Greece, Morocco, Paris, Japan, Germany, Mexico
   Awards: November 2001- Third prize winner at the International Saloon of Arts in Nancy, France

   Alexander Proinov - A Ray Of Aesthetic Enlightenment Dotchka Kysjova-Gogova       page 45

   Alexander Proinov is the sculptor of the award statuettes of many musical, theatrical and various other festivals: the Greta Garbo statuette for best romance movie of the year under the auspices of Plovdiv Film; the statuette of the CIRCOM Regional Association of National and Regional Televisions of Europe, the Olympia statuette of the Olympic Committee, Nike - the national sports lottery statuette etc. He has had over 20 solo exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad. His representative exhibitions have been displayed in many galleries around the world among which - Potsdam (Germany), Nicosia (Cyprus), Porto (Portugal) and Modena (Italy). Collections and separate artworks of Proinov are on display in many private and National galleries in the US, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Japan, Russia, the Republic of South Africa, and Tanzania. His art places a bridge between the past and the future and seeks to find an aesthetic as well as evolutionary connection between them. As a Balkan artist whose homeland is the cradle of ancient cultures, his artistic vision is that a new Renaissance is dawning - even in the next millennium his artworks will be a ray of aesthetic enlightenment.

   TOMMASO LANDOLFI       page 48

   Tommaso Landolfi (1908-1979) was born in Pico, Frosinone. In his youth he was actively involved with the circle of Hermeticism Followers (a poetic movement originating in Italy after WWI, most popular in the 30’s). Landolfi’s first book was published in 1937 under the title Dialogue Concerning the Chief World Systems. It was followed by The Sea of Roaches and other stories, The Moonstone, If not, reality, Impossible stories, By chance, Rien va and two books of poetry - Viola di morte and The Treason. He took the best of what his teachers in “black” Romaticism had to offer and further developed the so-called “striking short story”, where the premeditated and the incidental are at the two tips of the scale. He is considered one of the most peculiar and distinctly individualistic writers of the 20th century. In his books the basic rules of the game played by the reader and the writer is that sooner or later a surprise is to be expected; and the surprise is never a pleasant or a comforting one. At best it has the effect of a “nail scraping a window-glass”. In most of his books the plot revolves around mere chance, which Italo Calvino finds to be “a sort of deity” to Landolfi. Here we publish the short story The Literary Award, from the book The Best of Tommaso Landolfi compiled by Italo Calvino.

   Nikolai Kunchev       page 51

   Nikolai Kunchev was born in 1936 in the village of Bjala voda, province Pleven. His works were banned from publishing in the period 1968-1980. He is the author of 25 books of poetry. Translator from French and English. He has translated an Anthology of Georgian Poetry as well as an Anthology of five contemporary French poets: Yves Bonnefoy, André du Bouchet, Jacques Dupin, Michel Deguy, Claude Esteban. In separate books he has presented the poetry of Henri Michaux, Eugene Guillevic, Yves Bonnefoy, Michel Deguy, Bernard Noel, Jacques Reda, Claude-Michel Cluny, Claude Esteban, Andre Velter, Kenneth White, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, ee cummings, Czeslaw Milosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Adam Zagajewski, Genady Aygy. Nikolai Kunchev’s books of poetry have been translated in Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Georgia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, USA, and France. In the year 2001 he was elected a member of the World Academy of Poetry.

   Stefan Gechev In The Ivan Vazov National Theatre
Antonia Karakostova page       57

   Stefan Gechev loved to smilingly smash to pieces the accepted norms and conventional ideas his colleagues had about theatre. He used to point out that the European Renaissance and the Slavic Renaissance are essentially two different processes. The European Renaissance was about the development of individualism and the individual standing up against the dogmatics of the Middle Ages. With the Slavic Renaissance the individual undertook to bring the community to life, in order to be able to assert him/herself. While Europe has had to look back to rediscover the ancient times of paganism and sensuality, here the antiquity has never been lost. It is only people’s memory that has gradually blurred. Stefan Gechev believed that the Slavic Renaissance began in Rome, when Cyril and Methodius fought for the Slavonic language to be recognized as the fourth liturgical language, thus breaking one of the most canonical of dogmas - that there were only three principal languages church services could be held into. Stefan Gechev found that to be a true spiritual revolution on the old continent. The Slavic Renaissance, and the Bulgarian one in particular, was a non-uniform process. It was slowed down and hampered, but hasn’t come to a stop and is a process the impact of which is yet to be felt.

   A Grateful Remembrance
Valery Petrov       page 59

   The Italian school La Scuola Italiana - at first it was on Asparuh Street, then on Rakovski Street - has given me a solid basis for mastering the languages of Europe. For me it became a sort of bridge between Western European culture and our own Bulgarian culture. The school had an excellent curriculum and highly qualified teachers. We covered both Italian and Bulgarian curriculum standards. Our Italian teachers were as freethinking individuals as their Bulgarian colleagues, despite the Mousolini regime. In primary and secondary school they were desperately trying to impose on us the Hitler youth uniforms, but the fezes on our heads made the nazi salutes look theatrically funny.
   Most of our Italian teachers didn’t mind our childish mockery of the black shirt ceremonies. It was the custom, I remember, that each year on the day of the fascist March on Rome the students in every Italian school around the world had to write an essay on the grandeur of ancient Rome. In high school we duly wrote our essays but later on in our youth, already young anti-fascists, we decided to boycott the fascist anniversary and instead of writing we took a casual stroll around Knjaz Boris’ garden. The next day our form master addressed us: “You ruined my lesson, but...” - and his smile said it all.

   Royal Tiara For Italian Princess Maria Luisa, Princess Of Bourbon-Parma
Violeta Velikova-Kosheleva       page 61

   On April 8, 1897 Ferdinand I, Prince of Bulgaria, married Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon of Parma, daughter of Roberto, Duke of Parma and his first wife Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Naples. The wedding took place in the private chapel of the Duke of Parma. This was the beginning of the new royal dynasty of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom. The couple received many presents, among which of highest value was a large tiara, a gift from the Bulgarian people.
   The tiara was made up of 5 Bourbon lilies with 4 smaller lilies between them, symbolizing the royal blood of the Princess and the kinship of Ferdinand on his mother’s side to the French royal court. The lilies were decorated with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, symbolizing the Bulgarian tricolor flag. The tiara was made by the famous royal master jeweler of the Vienna court A. E. Kochert and it cost 200 000 leva.
   Prince Boris of Tirnovo, the first heir of the young couple, was born on January 30, 1894. He had to be converted from Catholic to Orthodox if Ferdinand was to gain Russia’s recognition. This development, as well as the princess’s fragile health, brought on her untimely death - she died at the age of 29. After the official funeral rites in Sofia her remains were transported to St. Ludwig Church in the town of Plovdiv.