Valuable Archives To Be Brought to Bulgaria

Sofia, June 3 1999? (BTA) ― Part of the richest in the West private collection of Bulgarian documents and editions in Bulgarian language will be brought to Bulgaria, says in an interview for BTA Director of Abagar centre in Rome (Italy), 70-year old Professor Georgi Eldurov says. The archive contains some 10,000 volumes of books and several thousands of documents and old history books. "I collected the archives for 30 years and they belong to Bulgaria," Prof. Eldurov says. According to experts the price of a large part of the books is measured with 4–5 digit figures.

The majority of the materials are related to the Bulgarian revival in Thrace and Macedonia, Mr. Eldurov says. In his view the oldest book in the collection is "Medical Encyclopaedia" dated back to 1510. The collection includes also books like the 16th c."Customs of All Nations", a 1921 edition of Ivan Vazov's "Under the Yoke" with the author's signature and a 1869 "History of Bulgaria". "I also have 18 notebooks belonging to Bulgarians who lived in Tsarigrad (currently Istanbul in Turkey) around the year 1860, the diary of the Bulgarian Metropolitan Nil Izvorov during his journeys round Macedonia on the eve of the Russo-Turkish War of Liberation (1877–1878) and some 1,000 books on Bulgarian topics that have been published abroad," Mr Eldurov says.

"The Abagar centre also keeps my personal archive which I have been collecting for fifty years," the centre's director said. Beside books, the centre keeps artefacts and works of art--20 original seals of neighbourhoods in Istanbul and Edirne dating back to 1860–1870, silver church plates from Edirne and Thrace, graphic works by Russian artists from the period of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1978) and a unique princely mantle. but not least, Georgi Eldurov mentions his collection of 270 photos of statesmen, politicians and cultural figures, including writers who worked from the turn of the century to the 1940s, bearing their autographs.

The Abagar house (named after the first book in modern Bulgarian) and the church archive in Rome were dedicated on October 25, 1983. The ceremony was attended by representatives of churches, universities and monasteries from nearly 20 countries. Eldurov says he welcomed 325 Bulgarians and 532 foreigners from 28 nations over 15 years.

Eldurov was born in 1926 near Yambol (southeastern Bulgaria) in a Catholic-Orthodox family. He attended a Catholic lyceum in Assisi (Italy) and graduated in theology in Rome. He took orders in 1951, and in 1955 became a teacher at the Seraphicum pontifical department of theology. From 1960 to 1966 he helped organize the Second Vatican Council after which he was appointed visitor delegate of Bulgarian Catholics (through 1992). For many years he headed the Bulgarian section of the Vatican radio. He founded the Abagar publishing house.

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