Conference article

Uses and Exploitation of History: Official History; Propaganda and Mythmaking in Bulgarian Museums

Gabriela Petkova-Campbell
Independent Scholar

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Published in: Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 78:6, p. 69-77

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Published: 2012-10-30


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


The end of the Second World War marked the beginning of a period in Bulgarian development described as ‘a fundamental rupture in the history of modern Bulgaria…as it led to the total repudiation of the political; social and economic system that had been developing in the country since the achievement of independence seventy years earlier’ (Dimitrov 2001:22). The new authorities imposed the requirements for museums to participate in the building of the socialist value system. This provoked the regulation of all museum activities and the introduction of a well-controlled administrative style of museum management. In all decisions of the Central Committee of the communist party the role of the focused ideological education amongst the population was constantly underlined. The approaches to museums inherited from previous governments were drastically reconstructed to meet the new requirements. Or as Iliev (in Dolapchieva 1985:11) underlines; in the years of communist governance ‘the meaning of the cultural – historical heritage reached new dimensions; it became part of the politics of the party and the socialist state. Even more; it became part of the whole ideological activity of the party’.


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