CultPlatForm_21 - Visibility event in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 25 – 26 March 2019


Making the invisible visible: Discovery of cultural heritage and touristic potential

The visibility of the hidden is a guiding theme of the project “Danube Culture Platform – Creative Spaces of the 21st Century“dedicated to the hidden heritage (e.g. heritage beneath the ground, archaeologic sites, destroyed, banned or repressed for political or societal reasons, disappeared, little known or of immaterial nature). The Danube region is characterized by rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The Project aims to make these treasures visible and so to fully develop their potential. To communicate heritage, to cherish cultural diversity and to give voice to the invisible, the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria organizedand hosted a Visibility Event on the 25th and 26th of March 2019 in the heart of the European culture this year – Plovdiv, European capital of Culture for 2019.

During the two days key speakers deliveredon important topics on cultural heritage. The general presentation gave topline information on the overall project goals and scope. Following a cultural-touristic approach the project plans a new cooperation of culture and tourism with the aim of supporting and expanding cultural routes and discovering this hidden heritage in order to convey historic places and events in a contemporary way to an international audience. It seeks innovation, experiments, new strategies and tools. Remembrance and the creation of new narratives are important aspects.

The first day started withspeakers from key Bulgarian cities on the Danube river– the city of Ruse and the city of Vidin where pilot project of the Ministry of Tourism has been implemented. Mrs. Tsetska Tsokova, Senior Expert at the Municipality of Vidin presented the cultural and historical heritage of the Danube city of Vidin, especially the “Baba Vida” fortress and the Synagogue that are the subject of virtual restoration through 3D technology into four kiosk terminals as part of the pilot project of the he Ministry of Tourism.

Prof. PhD Nikolay Nenov, Director of the Regional History museum of Ruse, presented the fishermen as part of the Danube River hidden heritage. Fishermen have knowledge on the territory they inhabit: not just the drought that is common to the entire local community, but also the one that encompasses the river with its varying outlines, shallows and islands. That is why when we talk about fishermen, we must imagine the cultural landscape on the Danube, which is part of the cultural heritage.


The second day of the event was fulfilled by four presentations. Mrs. Olivera Gracanin presented the essence of two researches – on the one hand the Study Guidebook “Our Hidden Danube Heritage" on resourcing hidden heritage for tourism and the other hand the research on Hidden Heritage Hot Spots along the Danube. Then pilot projects were outlined as a visible testimony of the historic memory of the Danube region that deliver sustainable impulses for a new, contemporary interpretation of hidden heritage.


The Bulgarian team DAHD (Danube Artistic Heritage Development) led the audience through their exciting project journey from the perspective of a mentor, Nadezhda Pavlova, and a student, Irina Hristova. The aims of the collaborative studio DAHD project are to recharge the so-called cultural routes, to find important, but little known or hidden historical sites along the river, to revitalize the cultural tourism, to provide a platform for joint work on so-called pilot projects, to research and artistically develop hidden heritage.


The final panel presentation on Plovdiv European Capital of Culture was made by Radost Ivanova, Deputy Directorat the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation. She presented the rich culture, history of the city of Plovdiv, but also the modern art and vivid lifestyle. Emphasis was made on this year big achievement of Plovdiv being European Capital of Culture together with the Italian city Matera. Mrs. Ivanova showed to the event participants the grand opening ceremony, discussed the outcomes for the economy, tourism, culture and overall development of the city and presented the program highlights.

The event was closed by the host – Mrs. Milka Nanova, Director of Programs and Projects in Tourism, and Mrs. Plamena Nikolova, Project coordinator and Chief Marketing expert.

© Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria

Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)