Issue 71-72

SEEDS LIKE TEETH

He couldn't stop spilling oranges everywhere he went. When he was five, he was a hide-and-seek failure, when an orange always rolled out from under the slide or tilted open a closet door. When he went to the grocery store with his mother, he always had a wrist slapped when they left, because she reached for his hand and the sinister fruit would drop and spin serenely across the parking lot. He always apologized looking at his shoes, confused.

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CHALKIDIKI TOP 5

There was a time when, if someone from Sofia wanted to meet up with their friends in the summer, they would head east to the Bulgarian seaside, where half of the capital was spending its vacation. For several years now, however, the tide has turned. Today, if you really miss your friends in summer deserted Sofia, head south to the Greek border, and then on to Chalkidiki.

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AND AN ICON FOR KOZMALA

I have to admit that precisely for this reason I'm pleased about this interrogation in front of you. It reminds me of that one in '41. After that our relations with Esther changed. She realised that when your name is Esther and you live in Paris in '41 it's difficult for your innocence to be proven. The most difficult thing was to find someone who would believe in this proof. I don't know how it came about that they believed me in the Gestapo. And even now I can't get my head around it. Perhaps it's because nothing sounds more convincing than the actual truth.

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DEYAN VALKOV, ARTIST

You don't need to be born somewhere to become a part of it, as the career of artist Deyan Valkov shows. Born 42 years ago in Silistra, he graduated from the National Fine Arts School and the Arts Academy in Sofia, specialising in mural painting. Since then, Deyan has turned Bulgaria's capital into the centre of his work, which takes him to the rest of Bulgaria and abroad.

Tell us something about your work – what have you done in the past?

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PLOVDIV TEMPLES PART 1

Inhabited since Neolithic times, Plovdiv claims to be one of Europe's oldest cities. As the millennia passed, people were not the only inhabitants of the seven hills by the Maritsa River and their environs. Gods also lived here, brought and nurtured by generations of worshipers. Among them are the long forgotten deities of long forgotten Neolithic peoples, the enigmatic Thracian Rider and a local deity with the name of Kendrisos, plus a host of divine immigrants, including the Greek Apollo and Asclepius, the deified emperors of Rome, and the Semitic Baal and Sabazios of Asia Minor.

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FALLEN MESSERSCHMITT

There is hardly a visitor to Sofia who has not crossed the vast square in front of the National Palace of Culture, or NDK, and not gasped at the sight of this strange structure that looks as if coming straight out of an urban nightmare piece of sci-fi.

Rising 35 metres from the ground, the tall thing curls somehow at an angle in the air, ending up looking somewhat like a wing. Ghostly human-like figures crawl and pose on its granite surface, where holes gape, revealing the rusting skeleton of steel.

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MILITSIONERSHTINA

The pun is unintended and probably bad, but if you can't pronounce the headline of this article you are unlikely to understand what is really going on in Bulgaria under Boyko Borisov and Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

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THANK YOU FOR THE FAILURE

The Bulgarians left the games with just two medals, a silver and a bronze. In previous Olympic games Bulgarians usually got at least a handful of golds in various disciplines.

Regardless of their modest performance in London, the Bulgarian athletes thanked the prime minister "personally" for his "formidable" support.

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QUOTE-UNQUOTE

Quality of life means something different from prosperity as seen by a grocery store owner.

Poet Edvin Sugarev

We categorically oppose the abolition of the monument in front of the NDK.

Union of Bulgarian Artists on the planned "reconstruction" of "1300 Years Bulgaria" Monument

The key judiciary appointments are dictated by those with political power.

Harvard-educated human rights lawyer Yonko Grozev

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TOVE SKARSTEIN

One is cold and the other is warm: the differences between Norway and Bulgaria by far outnumber the similarities. One is traditionally tolerant; the other has been trying to become tolerant for just 20 years. One is rich - the richest in GDP-per-capita terms in Europe; the other is the poorest.

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BOYKO DOESN'T LIE

If you ever drive on one of Bulgaria's lesser but very picturesque roads connecting Gotse Delchev, formerly Nevrokop, with Satovcha in the Rhodope (this is all in the southwestern corner of Bulgaria, near the Greek border), you are bound to come across a strange structure by the side of the asphalt.
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