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Art in the street:

Sofia public transport stops decorated with landmark architecture images from across the world

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Photo: “Art4Diplomacy”

11 public transport stops in Sofia have a new look. They are part of the Art4Diplomacy initiative of the talented Petya Ilieva, who turned them into an exhibition space with images of interesting, impressive and little-known to Bulgarians buildings from around the world. The project will be implemented in two phases, and pictures of beautiful landmarks selected from 11 diplomatic missions in Bulgaria will appear in the heart of Sofia in September.

"I will not get tired of repeating over and over again that culture is the oldest and most reliable tool of diplomacy - says Petya Ilieva - This is my project that I have been working on for 4 years. It involves all diplomatic missions in Bulgaria and my goal is to promote the closeness between the cultures of the nations and to highlight the good side of diversity.

So far we have only shown folklore as part of the cultural heritage. Now the time has come to introduce the general public, the passers-by in Sofia's streets, to the rich architectural heritage of different countries, because "Art for Diplomacy" has an aesthetic but also an educational purpose - it broadens citizens' knowledge by bringing art to the street and making it easily accessible to people."

Each of the panels contains brief information in Bulgarian and English. Landscapes and landmarks from Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Georgia, Denmark, Romania, Czech Republic, Israel and the Sovereign Order of Malta are shown.

"People will learn interesting facts from the images mounted on the bus stops - explains Petya Ilieva and gives us a spoiler alert: - Austria showcases Ambras Palace. In 1564, it became residence of the Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol, who developed the earliest systematic concept for the presentation of collections, making it the first museum in the world.

The Monte Rosa hut in the Swiss Alps is such a high-tech building that it produces 90% of the energy it consumes.

An interesting image is the 6th century Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta, Georgia. The landscape – with its hills, the church, the river and the town in the background - is strikingly similar to the old Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo.


Over the past 10 years, Copenhagen has invested over €188 million in infrastructure for cyclists. That's why Denmark chose the Copenhagen Circle Bridge for the project, which is just one of many bridges designed for cyclists in the city."

The choice of the two new participants in Petya Ilieva's projects is impressive. On the occasion of the European Presidency, the Czech Republic is showing the historical centre of the town of Cesky Krumlov with a castle listed by UNESCO for its well-preserved Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

And the Sovereign Order of Malta, often confused with the Republic of Malta, presents Villa Magistrale, the Grand Master's villa located on the Aventine Hill in Rome.

"I won't reveal more to keep the element of surprise. I am happy that I always get a prompt response and full support from foreign diplomatic missions. It is important to mention that they provide the materials and fully finance the realization of the projects", emphasizes Petya Ilieva. - We would like to thank BNR and Radio Bulgaria for their coverage of all Art for Diplomacy initiatives. Through your publications in 10 languages, links to which embassies send to their countries, you turn Art4Diplomacy activities into cultural events with resonance and publicity for Bulgaria on all continents."

Photos: “Art4Diplomacy”



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