Bulgarian Cultural Heritage Under Threat in North Macedonia: Dimitar Talev's Historic House in Prilep Demolished

Society » CULTURE | May 25, 2024, Saturday // 12:32
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Cultural Heritage Under Threat in North Macedonia: Dimitar Talev's Historic House in Prilep Demolished

Part of the historic house belonging to the renowned Bulgarian writer Dimitar Talev, located in Prilep, North Macedonia, has reportedly been demolished, raising concerns among cultural preservation advocates. Viktor Stoyanov from the "Macedonia" Foundation brought attention to the demolition, alleging involvement of the Macedonian National Security Agency through local actors.

The significance of Talev's house extends beyond its physical structure, as it holds cultural and literary importance. Born in the house on September 13, 1898, Talev drew inspiration from his upbringing there, immortalizing aspects of his family life in his famous tetralogy. His novel "The Iron Candlestick" remains a staple in Bulgarian literature, underscoring the house's historical value.

Efforts to preserve Talev's legacy have been ongoing, with plans to convert the house into a museum. Manol Peykov, a publisher, initiated a donation campaign last year with this goal in mind. However, the recent demolition has disrupted these preservation efforts, prompting concerns about the fate of the property.

The cultural significance of Talev's house extends beyond Bulgaria, with visitors from across the region and beyond expressing interest in the author's life and work. Snezhana Acheska, who resided in the house since the 1970s, facilitated visits from Bulgarian tourists, recognizing the symbolic importance of the property. Despite facing challenges, including disputes with local authorities and interruptions to utilities, Acheska remained steadfast in her commitment to preserving Talev's legacy.

The demolition of part of Talev's house raises broader questions about cultural heritage preservation in North Macedonia and the recognition of Bulgarian literary figures within the region. Concerns persist about the lack of awareness surrounding Talev's legacy in his hometown of Prilep, highlighting the need for greater recognition and protection of cultural landmarks associated with prominent figures in literature.

This is what Peykov said on Facebook yesterday - after the news about the demolition of part of Dimitar Talev's house:

"Today I received disturbing photos of an act of vandalism, committed (most likely) last night over Dimitar Talev's house in Prilep.

I have just spoken to the current owner, Snezhana Acheska, who has already informed the police. She committed to making sure to install a camera next door immediately. I have also heard from her lawyer, a man of position and authority in the city, who has undertaken to assist in the security of the property.

I am in constant contact with Snezhana and I am waiting every moment for an official court decision from the Municipality of Prilep on the amount of tax on the house (I have been waiting for it for more than three months, they assured me that it will happen immediately after the elections). This is a mandatory condition so that I can (after its payment) transfer the amount due to the owner and acquire the property on behalf of the foundation.

In the past year, since I collected the funds to purchase and start the renovation of the house (a little over 215,000 BGN, which are in the foundation's account down to a penny), I have not been late for a minute - I am constantly waiting for some kind of permission or document, and in the meantime I have changed as many as three lawyers.

I had (and still have) hope that the final permission will come at the beginning of next week and I am constantly ready to leave for Prilep to finalize the deal. (I am not announcing it publicly because - especially after the experience accumulated over the last year - I was afraid of possible sabotage. Alas, this is exactly what happens, despite my discretion on the subject.)

In conclusion:

● In the last 400 days or so, I have not stopped thinking and working for the acquisition of Dimitar Talev's native house in Prilep;

● The money collected by you is in my account down to a penny - and it is enough to buy the agreed 2/3 (Snejana's property) and (at least initially) strengthen and restore the house;

● I am ready to leave for Prilep to finalize the deal at any moment - and I hope and expect this to happen as soon as possible;

● All damages and damages to the house will be repaired and it will be restored by the best possible experts in the shortest possible time immediately after its acquisition."

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Tags: talev, macedonia, Bulgarian, house

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