Τρίτη, 22 Σεπτεμβρίου 2015

Monument to a troubled past

Monument to a troubled past: Inside the enormous crumbling communist HQ Bulgaria cannot afford to maintain or demolish

The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party was built in another era, however, one that long ago crumbled along with the way of life it embodied.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Bulgaria moved into a new age of parliamentary democracy.
Crumbling away: The oval skeleton of the House of the Bulgarian Communist Party on Mount Buzludzha in central Bulgaria has lain in a state of neglect for over 20 years
Crumbling away: The oval skeleton of the House of the Bulgarian Communist Party on Mount Buzludzha in central Bulgaria has lain in a state of neglect for over 20 years

Symbol of a previous era: The structure is one of a number of huge communist structures that many believe, if restored, could attract Western tourists in their droves
Symbol of a previous era: The structure is one of a number of huge communist structures that many believe, if restored, could attract Western tourists in their droves
Left to decay: A vandal has daubed 'Forget Your Past' in red paint across the building's entrance
Left to decay: A vandal has daubed 'Forget Your Past' in red paint across the building's entrance

Changing times: After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Bulgaria moved into a new age of parliamentary democracy
Changing times: After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Bulgaria moved into a new age of parliamentary democracy
That left buildings like the House of the Bulgarian Communist Party, which perches at the top of Mount Buzludzha in the centre of the country, in a state of neglect.
It is one of a number of huge communist structures that many believe, if restored, could attract Western tourists to the region in their droves.
But the Bulgarian government does not have the resources to carry out the necessary extensive repair work, at an estimated cost of 30million leva (£12million), nor to pull them down.
Boycho Bivolarski, the BSP Socialist party chief from the nearby city of Stara Zagora, told AFP news agency: 'This monument is unique in Europe and, if restored, it can attract tourists, especially Western, and bring money.'
Quandry: The Bulgarian government does not have the resources to carry out the necessary extensive repair work, at an estimated cost of 30million leva (£12million)
Quandry: The Bulgarian government does not have the resources to carry out the necessary extensive repair work, at an estimated cost of 30million leva (£12million)
Truly magnificent: Thieves have stripped much of the roof panelling away from the building, which opened in 1981, leaving it vulnerable to the elements
Truly magnificent: Thieves have stripped much of the roof panelling away from the building, which opened in 1981, leaving it vulnerable to the elements
Covered in snow: The monolithic building, which opened in 1981, is now at the mercy of the elements
Covered in snow: The monolithic building, which opened in 1981, is now at the mercy of the elements
Buzludzha Bulgaria
Buzludzha Bulgaria
Left to crumble: Debris litters a stairwell (left), while a statue of a pair of hands holding torches that sits at the bottom of Mount Buzludzha has been graffitied (right)
Thieves have stripped much of the roof panelling away from the building, which opened in 1981, leaving it vulnerable to the elements.
A wall mosaic of Bulgaria's communist dictator Todor Zhivkov has been destroyed, while others of communist heroes Marx, Engels and Lenin remain just about recognisable.
In a sign that many of the local population have no interest in such buildings, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov transfered ownership of the structure to the BSP Socialist party in November.
He said: 'Let them take care of it if they're so proud of it.'
The BSP Socialists have managed to secure the entrances to prevent would-be trespassers from entering.
Passing the buck: Prime Minister Boyko Borisov transfered ownership of the structure to the BSP Socialist party in November
Passing the buck: Prime Minister Boyko Borisov transfered ownership of the structure to the BSP Socialist party in November

Strewn with litter and ransacked by thieves, warmer weather shows the dome's interior to be in urgent need of repair
Strewn with litter and ransacked by thieves, warmer weather shows the dome's interior to be in urgent need of repair

Lockdown: The BSP Socialists have now managed to secure the entrances to prevent would-be trespassers from entering
Lockdown: The BSP Socialists have now managed to secure the entrances to prevent would-be trespassers from entering

Glorious colours: The communist party's emblem still adorns the ceiling
Glorious colours: The communist party's emblem still adorns the ceiling

Falling apart: Many in Bulgaria want the building, and other communist structures like it, to be restored to its former glory
Falling apart: Many in Bulgaria want the building, and other communist structures like it, to be restored to its former glory

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