The newly renovated Thracian tomb near Sveshtari in northeastern Bulgaria was inaugurated on June 7, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Sofia.
The renovations were made possible by the American Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), which provided more than 330,000 leva to preserve the UNESCO-designated cultural treasure for future generations to enjoy and admire. , the embassy said.
The inauguration took place in the presence of the American Ambassador to Bulgaria, Herro Mustafa, representatives of the Credo Bonum Foundation and the Ministry of Culture, as well as local dignitaries.
The Thracian tomb of Sveshtari is a unique example of Mediterranean sepulchral architecture and attracts around 50,000 visitors each year.
The tomb was built in the third century BCE to house the remains of a wealthy ruler of the Getae tribe who was buried there along with his horses.
The most remarkable decorations inside the tomb surround the burial chamber – 10 caryatids (columns carved as women) whose chitons have the shape of an upside-down palmette. This type of sculpture is also not found in the region.
The AFCP-sponsored restoration project included expert repair and refurbishment of significant parts of the tomb exhibit, as well as professional lighting installations, air conditioning, exhibits and educational exhibits and other tourism infrastructure improved, the US Embassy said.
The embassy said this AFCP project joins a host of others the embassy has sponsored since 2002, including the conservation of two 4th-century Christian tombs in central Sofia; the preservation of the Thracian Tomb of Kran II from the fourth century BC in the Valley of the Thracian Kings; the restoration of the 17th century Kurshum Mosque in Silistra; the preservation of 3rd century mosaic floors in the former provincial capital of Philippoplis (now Plovdiv); the preservation of Osman Pazvantoglu’s early 19th century library and mosque in Vidin, and the conservation and restoration of the 14th century medieval church, St John Aliturgetos, in the ancient town of Nessebur.
Together, these projects represent more than two million leva invested in Bulgarian cultural heritage by the US Embassy, the statement said.
(Photos: U.S. Embassy)
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