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A Place in Europe: Bulgaria and its Museums in 'New' Europe

Gabriela Petkova-Campbell
Publication Year:
171pp. Illustrated throughout with figures, plans, drawings and photographs
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This book explores the origins and development of museums and heritage sites in Bulgaria (1856-2006) in relation to societal change and major historic events. It seeks to determine the key factors that promoted museum building, and pinpoint the key individuals who were involved. Original and archival sources, interviews, observations and field visits have provided a rich dataset which has been analysed to reveal how systems of power, politics and social control affected how museums were created and subsequently managed. Furthermore the Bulgarian case is situated within a broader European context and comparisons are made with the museum institutions in different countries in order to determine any specifics and particularities of Bulgarian museum buildingand operation. The book demonstrates how different administrations have used museums to promote their own political views of the nation's cultural identity, and in particular how the strategies employed by the Communist regime continue to influence the museum sector today. The major contribution of this book lies in its use of archival documents. This has resulted in a different account of the formation of Bulgarian museums, on some occasions contradicting accepted histories. It also introduces the little known Bulgarian museology to a wider audience, which is seen to be important at a point in time when Bulgarian has become part of the European Union.