sábado, 17 de dezembro de 2011

New book on Bulgarian medals and distinctions

published Monday, October 10, 2011 3:05 PM
Radio BulgariaLifeHistory and religion

New book on Bulgarian medals and distinctions

© Photo: Veneta Nikolova
Dr. Veselin Denkov presenting his new book

A detailed overview of Bulgarian orders, medals and plaques in their various issues and verisons from the end of the 19th century until present days is the focus of a recent book of Dr. Veselin Denkov. Experts in the field say that the volume that has already raised the curiosity of collectors is unique because it offers the first-ever chronological portrayal of the entire history of the Bulgarian awards. The luxuty edition features hundreds of illustrations and photographs of life-size orders and medals accompanied by brief descriptions that take us back in time.

Ever since the time of the Roman Empire, Roman emperors used to reward their most courageous and worthy warriors with round, metal medallions called "phalerae" that adorned their chest armor. Hence, the word faleristics came to life to denote an auxiliary science that studies the hirosty and symbolism of various honorary awards. It turns out that there are many fans of faleristics in Bulgaria who would go to great lengths to get hold of an antique royal order or a gold medal issued on the occasion of the anniversary of any significant historical event. Nowadays, the highest Bulgarian award is the Stara Planina Order which is awarded by the Bulgarian President to politicians, diplomats, public figures and heads of state. The luxury new vlume also tells us the first Bulgarian medal was created back in 1880 - two years after the Liberation of Bulgaria from the five-century-long Ottoman rule. At that time, the new Turnovo Constitution allowed for the establishment of one award only – an award for outstanding bravery during the war. Later, the Bulgarian Prince Alexander Battenberg I received permission to set up more orders and medals that might shine over the military coats and formal attire of distinguished military officers, politicians and public figures.
In the early 20th century, Bulgarian faleristics could already boastd a range of awards and honorary symbols, all of which are presented in the new book. One of them is the image of the most valuable and expensive Bulgarian medal - the Order of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles St. St. Cyril and Methodius. The prestigious award was established by the Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand himself in 1909 on the occasion of the proclamation of Bulgaria’s Independence. It has been awarded to the patriarch of Bulgarian literature Ivan Vazov, the first Bulgarian infantry general Daniel Nikolaev, the Russian Tsar Nicholai II, King George VI of Great Britain and other dignitaries. "That order has recently appeared at an auction in Germany with an initial price of 15,000 euros, but the bidding ended at the modest sum of 65,000 euro and it is now owned by a foreign collector", Veselin Denkov, the author of the new volume, told Radio Bulgaria.
"Honorary Bulgarian awards, medals, orders, and plaques are extremely beautiful, especially those from the royal period as they are real works of art. They were made at the order of Bulgarian monarchs in Western countries - in Austria-Hungary, France, Russia, Germany and therefore they are very precisely manufactured and designed.. They are sought by auctions worldwide and sold at very high prices. Some of these orders and medals are made of gold and silver and some are adorned with emeralds and rubies”.

© Photo: www.dnevnik.bg
It is small wonder that collectors find the insignia of royal time most attractive. But for fear of repression during the years of Socialism, many of these orders were concealed and even destroyed by their owners who are mostly royal and public officers considered by the totalitarian government to be "enemies of the people." Using archival photographs and computer technology, however, Vesselin Denkov has managed to recover most of those lost royal insignia and describe them in his book.
"This is the true history of Bulgaria. In this case, our past can not be falsified. While historians often resort to certain distortion of the historical facts, this cannot be done in faleristics because each historical event that is significant for Bulgaria is reflected in a respective medal, decoration or plaque”, Veselin Denkov said in conclusion.

Translated by Rossitsa Petcova

sexta-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2011

Exposição no Museu da Legião de Honra, Paris - 2012

La berline de Napoléon – Le mystère du butin de Waterloo

7 mars – 8 juillet 2012

A Exposição organizada pelo Museu da Legião de Honra relata o percurso acidentado da berlina do Imperador Napoleão I capturada e pilhada pelos Prussianos, após a batalha de Waterloo.

Entre os objectos pilhados encontravam-se várias condecorações do Imperador algumas delas expostas posteriormente num Museu, em Berlim e, levadas para a URSS, em 1945, após a captura da capital do III Reich, pelos Exército Vermelho.

Há muito consideradas perdidas acabaram por ser encontradas nas reservas do Museu Histórico do Estado, de Moscovo que agora generosamente as emprestou ao Museu da Legião de Honra, para esta Exposição.

Mas, para além destas, outras condecorações do Imperador provenientes da pilhagem que se acham hoje em colecções privadas irão também ser expostas.

Por ocasião da Exposição o Museu promove a publicação de um Catálogo, sob a direcção do Professor Doutor Jean Tulard, pela editora Albin Michel.