The Lucky Man lands on Vitosha St.

New monument to classic writer Aleko Konstantinov in the heart of the capital city

БНР Новини
Photo: Luiza Lazarova

Lousy weather of late keeps us away from pleasant strolls downtown Sofia but right in the heart of the city, in Vitosha St., there is something new that is a must-see. It is the monument of great Bulgarian writer, lawyer, opinion leader and founder of organized tourism in this country Aleko Konstantinov (1863 – 1897) a.k.a. the Lucky Man.

The monument is the work of sculptor Boris Borisov and architect Plamen Tsanev. It was unveiled on 11 May, 119 years after the death of the celebrated writer. The Lucky Man is clad in a suit, leaning nonchalantly against a street pole which has a few boards attached to it with various destinations written on them – Budapest, Prague, Vienna and Chicago. The writer has his eyes fixed at Mount Vitosha’s highest peak Cherni Vrah (Black Peak). On 25 August 1895, Aleko Konstantinov led a group of 300 enthusiasts who climbed together the 2,290 m peak under the slogan, “Come to know Bulgaria to love it”.

The vastly popular works of Aleko Konstantinov include Bai Ganyo (Uncle Ganyo), To Chicago and Back, the short story collection Different People, Different Ideals and a few brilliant feuilletons. As a writer, the Lucky Man was critical, sarcastic, ironic, passionate and explicit about the political struggles in the country. He is a favorite writer of many generations of Bulgarian readers.

The new monument in Vitosha Blvd. has enjoyed keen attention from both Bulgarians and foreigners. In a vox pop downtown Sofia, we asked what people think about it:

„It has a good idea behind it. I love the way it combines Bai Ganyo, To Chicago and Back and other works by Aleko. It fits well into the skyline of Vitosha St. Although Aleko Konstantinov lived in 19 c. his works are quite relevant today”, argues Gergana Georgieva.

„I love it. Aleko Konstantinov is a personality that deserves a special place to remind us of the past and inspire us for the future, so that we work to change the country”, a young lady commented.

„I wonderful monument in a wonderful place. It was high time to have such a thing. I congratulate the sculptor and the decision to place it here”, said Yordan Lozanov.

Diyana Dimitrova is impressed too:

„I like it very much: it is an interesting and alternative monument. It stands in the right place – at a crossroads. One is tempted to start a journey with Aleko. There are a few symbols of his creative legacy – the suitcase, the book that is probably Bai Ganyo, the boards with the destinations that his characters visited. And besides, this is a statue of a handsome man and it is great to get photographed with him”, she smiles.

Finally, the opinion of Yana Ivanova:

„I think it is an original monument that perfectly corresponds to Aleko Konstantinov’s personality who was a dreamer and an idealist with his eyes set on the high mountain and in the future.”

English version: Daniela Konstantinova

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