3D gladiatorial battles will be watched by tourists under the stage of the Ancient Theater

3D gladiatorial battles will be watched by tourists under the stage of the Ancient Theater
3D gladiatorial battles will be watched by tourists under the stage of the Ancient Theater

With clockwork precision, restorers of “Ancient Plovdiv” bring back the shine of 187-year-old Alafrangi

“It is a big challenge to deal with the physical preservation of so many monuments,” says arch. Nina Toleva-Novak, deputy director of the Municipal Institute “Ancient Plovdiv”. The organization manages about 30 objects in the architectural complex. In addition to the Renaissance houses, he also takes care of the Ancient Theater, the Roman Stadium, the Episcopal Basilica of Philippopolis and the Small Basilica.
And now restorers work in one of
landmark buildings – Hindliyan House.
It was built in 1835 by the merchant Stepan Hindlian, founder of one of the four wealthiest families in Plovdiv.
We leave the restorer Hristina Tsvetkova from “Ancient Plovdiv” to examine a problem on the plinth itself next to the entrance of the lavish building. On the second floor, in one of the rooms, her colleague Desislava Zavarinova works. With watchmaking precision, she restores the alafranga, which depicts a magnificent landscape from Peterhof. The specialist removes old retouches from a previous restoration and makes a colorful restoration. Works with a very thin paint brush. Plastic ornaments of grapes are depicted above the alafranga itself. “It’s difficult, but at the same time it’s interesting because you never do the same thing. It makes you think differently to give a new life to a given masterpiece”, says Tsvetkova.
“Restoration activities have never stopped here,” explains arch. Novak. And he gives an example with the facade of the Stambolyan house. The permanent exhibition of the artist Dimitar Kirov is located there. For many years, the building had lost its original facade decoration. Templates were used for its restoration, made from archival footage – as it looked in the 19th century. Its original appearance has now been restored, and the entire restoration, carried out by a team led by artist restorer Elena Krivoshieva, is also under the direct supervision and supervision of Assoc. Dr. Elena Kantareva-Decheva, director of the Municipal Institute “Ancient Plovdiv”. The value of the restoration works is BGN 84,776, allocated by the Ministry of Culture.
Work is currently underway on a project to restore the interior artistic decoration of the Hippocrates pharmacy – the only museum of pharmacy in our country. Structural strengthening and partial restoration of the “Nishanyan” house is to be carried out.
One of the successes of “Ancient Plovdiv” is the winning project “Revitalization of the immovable cultural heritage of the Ancient Theater through the application of innovative and progressive technologies” in the amount of BGN 64,810, which is granted by the National Fund “Culture”. The space under the stage will be turned into a tourist attraction.
“Under it are built rooms and passages with a cruciform plan, which passes into a vaulted passage. In the center of the orchestra is a vertical opening which gives access to the stage from the underground galleries. Until now, this extremely attractive part of the Ancient Theater has not been used and is not accessible to tourists. With the project, it will be separated into an exposition, in which, with the help of new technologies, the gladiator fights will be reproduced”, explains Tanya Slavova, head of “Tourist and agency activity” at the institute.
Gergana Kostadinova, head of the “Administrative and Legal Services” department, told about another future project. Since more than 40 years have passed since the restored ancient theater was put into operation, a structural examination was made to establish the technical condition of the scante – where the columns rise. Specialists from the Center for Scientific Research and Design at the University of Architecture, Construction and Geodesy participated in the survey. The project parts for the reinforcement are to be developed.
“We are also working on the innovative presentation of fragments of the interior of the Episcopal Basilica and in particular the pulpit. The goal is to use modern technologies to show how it looked 1,700 years ago, without harming its authenticity,” says “Ancient Plovdiv”.
A project is also being developed for the permanent exhibitions of Zlatyu Boyadzhiev and Dimitar Kirov. The idea is
the paintings of the artists to come alive and be included in mobile application, which will cover all museums on the territory of Plovdiv. The visitor will be able to see through his phone application how the picture was painted, explained arch. Nina Novak.
These activities are part of the project “Cultural heritage of Plovdiv, presented in revitalized, restored and renovated places” won by the municipality under the Norwegian program worth BGN 781,550.03, which includes seven cultural institutions – Municipal Institute “Ancient Plovdiv” , City Art Gallery, Regional Historical Museum, Regional Archaeological Museum, Regional Ethnographic Museum, Regional Natural History Museum and “Ivan Vazov” National Library.
A team of “Ancient Plovdiv” specialists begins to organize emergency activities to strengthen and stabilize the damaged graffiti by DiCiro on the shield of the building on “Saborna” Street, as well as to prepare a project for its restoration. The work partially collapsed during a storm in April this year.

Landmark events

  • In the sites of “Ancient Plovdiv” until August 20 this year, 120 events have been realized, of which 41 at the Ancient Theater, 14 at the Episcopal Basilica and 65 at other sites. Another 40 are expected by the end of the year.
  • In this year’s Old Town Festival under the motto “Doors in Time” will be the premiere of the documentary film “100 Years Flying on the Stones” about the life and work of Atanas Krastev – Nacho Culture. The documentary films “Nacho” with author Desislava Shishmanova and “Chorbaji Nacho in the Old Town” by Antoineta Bachurova, part of the “Smart Village” series, will also be shown.
  • Over 15 events, workshops, concerts, exhibitions will take place during the holidays from September 12 to 18. The beginning will be given with the concert-performance “Doors in Time” specially created by the “Art and Education” consortium, of which “Old Plovdiv” is also a part.


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