Bulgaria: Bust of Russian Statesman in Varna Vandalized

Incidents | January 10, 2024, Wednesday // 17:39|  views

Vandalism struck Varna's City Garden as the bust of Russian statesman Nikolay Ignatyev was torn from its pedestal overnight on Tuesday.

This is how it looked before the vandal act:

Atanas Mihov, Deputy Director of the Interior Ministry's Regional Directorate in Varna, confirmed that multiple security camera recordings were provided to the police for investigation. A team has been assigned to inspect the site, launching pre-trial proceedings with the prosecuting magistracy alerted.

Director Antonia Yovcheva of Varna Municipality's Culture and Spiritual Development Directorate expressed the intent to restore the monument promptly.

This isn't the first attack on Ignatyev's bust; it faced a similar incident ten months ago, being splashed with white paint, leading to an arrest.

Nikolay Ignatyev held a contentious role in Bulgarian history. He vehemently opposed the 19th-century movements striving for Bulgarian ecclesiastical freedom and an autonomous Bulgarian state, despite his aspirations to become the inaugural Bulgarian knyaz, a prominent noble title in Slavic territories, often synonymous with prince or duke. During that era, the Russian media dubbed him as "The Russian Knyaz of the Bulgarians." He instigated the signing of the Preliminary Treaty of San Stefano between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, formalized on March 3, 1878 (old style February 19). This action caused dissent within the Russian foreign ministry due to its unfeasibility, given the earlier secretive Reichstadt Agreement between Russia and Austria-Hungary in 1876.

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Tags: arna, Ignatyev, monument, controversy


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