Archaeologists Mull Displaying St. John Relics in SofiaArchaeology | September 26, 2010, Sunday // 14:09| views
Sliven Bishop Yoanikiy led the procession with the relics of St. John the Baptist in Sozopol. Finance Minister Simeon Djankov is in the middle, while Prof. Kazimir Popkonstantinov is on the far left. Photo by Finance Ministry
The relics of St. John the Baptist, which were found in July near the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol, might be lying in state in Sofia on November 21.
During a discussion on the remains, it was announced that the date was chosen to coincide with the Day of the Christian Family.
The discovery of the Bulgarian archaeologist Kazimir Popkonstantinov caused tension in the archaeological community in the country.
Some of the archaeologists have stated that the triumph over the relics of St. John the Baptist were premature.
"Why, damn it, why, where is all this envy coming from? This is what I cannot find an explanation with these fucking people, with these fucking colleagues," the Bulgarian Diaspora Minister and a former Director of the Bulgarian National History Museum, Bozhidar Dimitrov, said.
There has been a serious debate in the Holy Synod regarding the moving of the relics to Sofia for pilgrimage.
"Investments in history and in archaeology are very profitable for whichever country," said Simeon Djankov, Bulgaria's Finance Minister.
According to him, the return would be about 200 times, while the investment in archaeological heritage in general does not cost much.
"It is worth investing there for archaeology's sake as well, and also because of the new job positions it would create. Investments in this sector return repeatedly and in a relatively short period of time," Djankov said.
He has explained that if there are archaeological landmarks and other attractions, "tourists might decide to stay there not for a day, but for two or three days."
Djankov gave as an example the Bulgarian village of Starosel. Besides archaeological landmarks, tourists can also visit the wine-cellar there.
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