Man Who Stole Bulgaria's 1st Modern Textbook Gets Probation

Crime | December 15, 2009, Tuesday // 20:29|  views

27-year-old Stanimir Badzhakov who stole Bulgaria's first modern textbood date 1824 was sentenced to probation and community service. Photo by BGNES

27-year-old Stanimir Badzhakov who stole the original of Bulgaria's first ABC book, the so called "Riben Bukvar", was sentenced Tuesday to 20 months of probation and 400 hours of community service.

The man, who is an antique dealer, made full confessions before the Kotel District Court, and was thus entitled to a short legal procedure. In November 2008, he visited the National Revival Museum in the town of Kotel and managed to replace the original “Riben Bukvar” with a fake one provided to him by another antique dealer.

The "Riben Bukvar" was published in 1824 in Bucharest by the Bulgarian scholar Petar Beron, and was the first modern Bulgarian textbook, which had a tremendous impact on Bulgarians during the nation's Revival Period (19th century).

In November 2008, the textbook was stolen from the National Revival Museum in Petar Beron's native town of Kotel in Eastern Bulgaria. It was replaced with a fake copy by a local antiques collector who had access to the museum.

The original was then sold to collectors in Sofia. The invaluable textbook was recovered by the police after a nation-wide special operation. It was returned to the Kotel Museum but without its covers which disappeared during the time it was in the hands of the antique dealers.

The "Riben Bukvar", meaning "Fish ABC Book" became known with this name because it had a dolphin on its front cover.

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Tags: Riben Bukvar, Kotel, Stanimir Badzhakov, antiques, dealer, National Revival Museum, Petar Beron, 1824


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