Azerbaijan's First Lady to Unveil Open-Air Museum in Bulgaria
Mehriban Aliyeva, the First Lady of Azerbaijan, is set to arrive in Bulgaria on September 22. Aliyeva will head to Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital of Bulgaria, where she will unveil Southeast Europe's biggest open-air museum that has been renovated with funding granted by her foundation.
Separatеly, she will be awarded an honorary degree by the city's university and the symbols of an honorary citizen of Veliko Tarnovo for her outstanding contribution to preserving cultural heritage.
Part of Trapezitsa Fortress, a medieval stronghold located on a hill with the same name in the city, was restored using the BGN 2.5 M donated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which the First Lady heads. Apart from the western fortress wall, three medieval churches with frescoes dating back to the 13-14th century were renovated.
The money was also dedicated to turning the fortresses of Trapezitsa and Tsarevets, a stronghold built on a "neighboring" hill, into an open-air museum.
Infrastructure at the foot of the hill was also upgraded, with the streets having been refurbished and with a parking built for visitors' needs. An interactive museum interpreting the history of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom was also added.
"This is the first investment of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Eastern Europe in this field, and it is precisely here that it was has been made," daily 24 Chasa quotes Veliko Tarnovo's mayor Daniel Panov as saying.
Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and mayor Panov will both attend the opening ceremony on Trapezitsa.