Why don’t we put a plaque on his house or set up an award in his name?
In October, we celebrated the 95th anniversary of our late fellow citizen Velichko Minekov, and I will never forget another late artist-compatriot, his classmate from the high school in Pazardzhik and our famous artist Dimitar Koprivshtenov. Already in the 60s, he was delighted with the sculptures of Velichko Minekov. After that, I only heard about this chisel master, and in 1978 I got to know him. He had arrived in our city to participate in the jubilee opening of the solemn jubilee exhibition on the occasion of his 50th anniversary, arranged in the Youth House. Then Pazardzhik duly showed his respect for Velichko Minekov, and he presented 23 of his monumental sculptural figures to the city, so that they could become a one-of-a-kind outdoor exhibition. At that time, his name was very popular in our cultural circles, and with the figure of Spartacus (1956) he was already known abroad – because of this work, he received a special award, and in Moscow he was honored as a laureate of the World Youth Festival and the students.
“Zname” wrote about the creative biography of the artist born in Malo Konare, about his school years in Pazardzhik and his first drawing teachers Ana Masheva and Stoyan Vasilev, who will direct him to the Higher Institute of Fine Arts “N. Pavlovich” under the professors Marko Markov and Lyubomir Dalchev. But it is also important that the great sculptor Andrey Nikolov is preparing him for the academy. “To them – he shared in front of me – I owe a lot, because it was they who built me as a future sculptor”. It is not surprising that in 1973 Minekov will be elected deputy chairman of the SBH, and two years later he will become a professor. From 1976 until 1987, he was rector of the National Academy of Arts, establishing himself as a great teacher. During this time, his chisel was tireless, showing that he was also a folk psychologist and not just a genius plastic artist. But if it was only plastic – it is enough to see the historical monumental works – the monuments of Ivaylo (1978), of Asparuh (1981), “September” (1973), the deeply moving “Monument of the Unification” (1985). the “flying stone cavalry” brought to life in the monument to the April Uprising in Panagyurishte (1976), or iconic works such as “Orpheus” (1969), “Serdika” (1977), “Ivailo” (1978), “Nestinarka” (1972)…
I have told the readers about my meetings with him and the interviews I took (the first was on the occasion of his upcoming 70th anniversary – in 1998, and the last in 2008, when I visited him because of his approaching 80th anniversary). I keep his gift like my eyes – his undersized bronze figure, a miniature copy of “Rodina”, which – according to him, he only gave as a gift to Ivan Dinkov from our region. This remarkable monument also stands in Geneva, in front of the famous Palais des Nations used by the United Nations. The same majestic monument of a young and beautiful strong Bulgarian woman with our traditional native hospitality welcomes the thousands of passers-by in front of the Pazardzhik municipality with a tray. For him, the homeland was something sacred, as well as the native land. Velichko Minekov was asking for revival attachment to his native Pazardzhik region, and these are not exaggerated words. I remember the meeting with his witty compatriots from Malo Konare, who came in 2008 to his jubilee exhibition in Pazardzhik. They came to congratulate him on his 80th birthday. They flooded the huge hall of the Stanislav Dospevski gallery with gorgeous authentic folk songs and thus struck its healthy root. The celebrant immediately ran to them, deeply moved, embraced them and sang ecstatically with them in a pinkish color… I will never forget this scene.
He was very busy and yet he always took time out of his schedule to come here.
After his death, an initiative was taken by the local society of artists to name a street in our city after him. However, it would be nice if a memorial plaque was placed on the home where he lived. And why not Pazardzhik Municipality and SBH not to establish a national award in the name of Velichko Minekov, with which to honor talented artists in the field of visual arts?
Thus we will perpetuate his memory even more strongly and our younger fellow citizens will know who is the author of all these beautiful sculptures on the Cake. Velichko Minekov deserves it.