Vandalism in the Bulgarian Cave Magura Next to Prehistoric Drawings

Crime | May 17, 2019, Friday // 08:11| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Vandalism in the Bulgarian Cave Magura Next to Prehistoric Drawings

Vandals have written on the walls of the Magura cave in Northwestern Bulgaria, where there are prehistoric drawings of 7000 years. The news was published on Facebook by Andrey Shurelov. His picture shows that the prehistoric drawings have the inscription "Radi, Pavcho, Antov 2019". The case was reported by the media on Thursday, and the same day Belogradchik mayor Boris Nikolov tried to smear the scandal with the label "fake news". According to him no one has written on the drawings and obviously the problem is solved.

"The news that rock paintings have been destroyed in the Magura Cave in Northwest Bulgaria is false," said Belogradchik Mayor Boris Nikolov after a check at the Historical Museum in the city, quoted by the Bulgarian National Radio. He convinces himself that "there is no vandal act". The documentation related to the forthcoming inclusion of the prehistoric drawings in the list of cultural heritage of UNESCO is being prepared, added Mayor Nikolov to the Bulgarian National Radio.

The story of the eyewitness and his photo show that there is a vandal act. Even if it is not written on the drawings, the scribes prove that the authorities do not take care of preserving the historical heritage and can easily be destroyed. In addition, the case could compromise Magura's candidacy to UNESCO.

The author of the picture of the vandal act in Magura Cave Andrey Shurelov confirmed to Mediapool that his picture is completely authentic. He never claimed to be scribbled on drawings, but that there coexistence between prehistory and modern Vandal scribes.

Shurelov's photo was taken on Sunday at 10.30 am when he visited the cave with a group of about 40 people. The inscription has been seen by other people, including the guides. According to Shurelov, scribes are made with a coin on the soft limestone rock. According to him, they may have already been removed because it would not be particularly difficult. He explained that he had made only three shots from the same angle.

"Even as I shot the famous hunting scene (one of the most famous prehistoric drawings in Magura), I tried not to include them in the photo," said Shurelov.

He added that large groups of tourists visiting the cave are often left unchecked. Visitors are detached and no one watches them what they do. The man said that his goal was not to seek responsibility but to take action to improve security. In these galleries, it is easy to place surveillance cameras because there is electricity. There are no such ones at the moment.

Immediately after the Mayor's reaction eyewitnesses uploaded a video on Facebook, which makes it clear that Radi, Pavcho and Antov are one of the many who scratched in the cave.

Magura Cave is located near the Rabisha Lake and the Belogradchik Rocks. It was declared a national cultural value in 1965. Four years ago, UNESCO's experts looked at the prehistoric drawings for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The prehistoric drawings are carved in the rock and painted with guano. The figures depict dancing female silhouettes, dancing and hunting men, masked people, stars, tools of labor. Another part presents the images of animals, plants and chess panels. The paintings date back to different epochs - epipaleolithic, neolith, beginning of the Early Bronze Age, the official site of the cave says.

The earliest dates back 7000 years. The solar calendar of the late Neolithic found in the cave is the earliest solar calendar ever discovered in Europe. It is painted on the walls of the sanctuary hall, and there are at least 5 festivals and 366 days. According to the scientists, it is made with great precision of the recordings.

The paintings in the cave are considered to be the most precious masterpieces of primitive art in the Balkans. They are more than 700 in number.

For many years, the drawing room was closed and visitors were not allowed, but at the request of the local authorities the ban was lifted. Last year, scientists have warned that, despite their tremendous importance, the rock painting gallery remains without adequate protection and conservation strategy.

In October, the memorial complex in the Japanese city of Hiroshima fell victim to vandalism by two stage workers from the Bulgarian National Opera. Then they scratched a black spray with the inscription of Bulgarian football club "Loko Sofia" on a fence in the complex. There was recognition, excuse, and dismissal. At the beginning of this year, a Bulgarian tourist guide showed a photo with the inscription "Loko 2019" right next to the entrance to the The Great Pyramid of Giza.

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