Varna Makes Urgent Appeal to Save Bulgarian Naval Legend

Society » CULTURE | February 4, 2010, Thursday // 19:57| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Varna Makes Urgent Appeal to Save Bulgarian Naval Legend The unique Bulgarian torpedo boat "Drazki" is in imminent danger of collapse, and a public appeal may be launched to fund emergency repairs. Photo by BGNES

"Drazki", the legedary torpedo-boat that saw service in the Balkan Wars, and one of the most valuable exhibits in the Naval Museum in Varna, could collapse at any moment, the museum director, Dr Mariana Kristeva has announced.

"The pedestals on which the ship is supported are crumbling, both from the burden of time and because she is subject to the weather in all seasons of the year," said Dr. Krasteva on Thursday.

"I dare not think about what would happen if the foundations give in because of her weight. This would mean losing an extremely valuable exhibit associated with the glorious history of our navy," she stated.

Kristeva said that she had held talks with a team of specialists who have expressed their opinion that the repair can be performed without requiring the ship to be moved.

The emergency operation would aim to reinforce the ship's supports using a specific technology.

The urgently needed repairs to the "Drazki" (Intrepid) would require at least BGN 50 000. Given the already squeezed budget of the Defense Ministry, which funds the Varna Museum, state financing of the project is unlikely, she ventured.

The museum’s expert team, led by Mariana Kristeva, are now considering the idea of making a direct appeal to the citizens of Varna, in order to secure the necessary cash.

"My hope is that, despite the financial crisis and the policy of making economies, which is reasonable, the Municipality of Varna will come to our aid, whether completely or at least in part," the director said.

"Businesses can also participate by making donations, and patriotic citizens have already expressed their willingness to give their mite. The funds will be raised in a bank account as a donation target," said Krasteva.

"The museum and this exhibit are the emblem of Varna," she emphasized.

The "Drazki" was one of six torpedo boats ordered by Bulgaria. They were built in France, and transported overland in sections to Bulgaria, where the final assembly took place.

"Drazki" was launched in the autumn of 1907, and commissioned in early 1908.

During the Balkan Wars, "Drazki" entered the history of the native fleet after successfully, at almost point-blank range, torpedoing the Turkish cruiser Hamidie, and crippling her.

"Drazki" is now the only preserved example of this class of ship, worldwide.

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Tags: "Drazki", torpedo boat, Varna Naval Museum, Mariana Kristeva, Balkan Wars, public appeal
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