Picture: FOCUS News Agency Russians want to transform TZUM-Sofia into an Orthodox Church Museum (ROUNDUP)


Sofia. Russian investors want to purchase the building of TZUM-Sofia [an upmarket department store in the centre of Sofia] and transform it into an Orthodox Church Museum. The investment proposal for this move was sent to the office of TZUM. The document reads that the goal of the investment is to unite the cultural and Orthodox Church tradition between South Slavs and Russia. The candidate-buyers think that the building is extremely appropriate, because of its location – in downtown Sofia, and because of its proximity to several churches from the Early Christianity, and also to the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Different information’s on projects for museums that would be constructed in the future have appeared in Russian media over the past few months. A month ago it was announced that a unique multi-media project – a virtual museum dedicated on WWI, would be constructed in connection with the 100th anniversary of the war. Famous Russian businessmen and cultural figures sent a letter to the owner of TZUM – Bulgarian businessman Georgi Gergov, as they stated that this project would expand the Russian cultural presence in Bulgaria.

Focus News Agency contacted Georgi Gergov for a comment on the news. Mr Gergov did not refute the information.
Transforming TZUM – Sofia [a large department store in Sofia’s centre] into an Orthodox Church Museum is not a bad idea,” TZUM’s owner businessman Georgi Gergov said.

“We are currently discussing this idea. It is not bad at all. Actually the idea was generated by the previous government [the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB) government], which considered placing the National Historic Museum in the TZUM building. We have discussed twice the idea of transforming TZUM – Sofia into an Orthodox Church Museum. It seems it is meant to be such. It is surrounded by early Christian churches as well as ruins of ancient Serdika [Sofia’s old name]. The building is surrounded by history. Russia is open to such issues, especially history and the Church,” Mr Gergov remarked.
He added he would be pleased if such a thing [the transforming] happened.

Director of the National History Museum Professor Bozhidar Dimitrov, however, believes that TSUM building has suitable location and area for only one museum – the National History Museum of Bulgaria.

Prof Dimitrov told FOCUS News Agency that the building of TSUM is located in the perfect centre of the capital, surrounded by ancient ruins connected with the Roman and Bulgarian history. It is situated in a magnificent Bulgarian environment witnessing for extraordinary tolerance of the Bulgarian people, which is unseen in Europe.