Ambassador Tarja Laitiainen and the Mayor of Pavlikeni Mr. Emanuil Manolov opened a joint art exhibition on 4 July in the Cultural center of the town of Pavlikeni located some 180 km from Sofia towards Veliko Tarnovo. The exhibition is part of the Bulgarian-Finnish Art project the idea for which emerged in 2006 when the artists Daniela Todorova, Liisa Malkamo and Elina Försti met at the Nelimarkka Museum in Finland. The project was launched in 2008 at the Kuusankoski paper gallery in Finland as part of the events marking the 90th anniversary celebrations of establishing the diplomatic relations between Finland and Bulgaria.
The Finnish-Bulgarian art project united artists from both countries. It developed and expanded in time attracting more participants, all of them subject to a common motto – Inspiration without borders. A total of 12 exhibitions and two workshops were held in Finland and Bulgaria featuring works especially created for the art project.
The Bulgarian artists who participated in the project are well known in Bulgaria and abroad. Todor Todorov, Daniela Todorova (the Bulgarian curator of the project), Milko Bozhkov, and Veselin Nachev are among the famous and talented artists of Bulgaria whose works are displayed now at the exhibition.
The Finnish artists enjoy great popularity as well. Liisa Malkamo is the Finnish curator of the project. Elina Försti, Tina Lampinen, Laina Koskela, Liina Pasi arrived in Bulgaria for the workshop and the exhibition in Pavlikeni. The exhibition will show works of Jimmy Pulli and Meri Pauniaho as well. The Finnish participants are among the leading and most vivid representatives of modern Finnish art.
The town of Pavlikeni is hosting this year’s edition of the project which took place between 29 June and 5 July. The Municipality of Pavlikeni has provided venues for workshops where the artists were able to create inspired by beauty of nature in the native setting of the remains of an ancient Roman noble house and ceramic center located in the vicinity of the town. The event is organized by the Municipality of Pavlikeni and Amateras Foundation and is supported by the Ministry of culture of Bulgaria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, the Embassy of Finland in Sofia and the Embassy of Bulgaria in Helsinki. The municipality and the mayor Mr Emanuil Manolov have given the Finns a very warm welcome, and they would like to see more Finno-Bulgarian cooperation in business, arts and archaeology.
Ambassador Laitiainen visited a rose plantation outside the town which is a good example for a successful family business run by the Florovs family who has kept the traditions of growing flowers and plants. The visitors received rose bouquets rich in colour and aroma. The guests also visited one of the historical places of interest in the area. Near Pavlikeni there are vestiges from the Roman period, 1st -3rd century, which were found in 1971. The place was identified as an ancient Roman villa complex and ceramic centre. There had been large scale production of pottery, toys and tiles for construction. After the founder died in 1982 the site has just been kept up, no new excavations have been made. Pavlikeni municipality would welcome Finnish cooperation to continue excavations.