Bulgarian and international politicians, diplomats, journalists and EU officials gathered at the European Commission to celebrate 24 May, the Day of Slavonic letters and of Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture. Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva hosted the event, which was held against the background of Bulgaria’s UNESCO World Heritage List monuments, as captured by photographer Alexander Nishkov. Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director-General, and Nikolay Mladenov, Bulgaria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, were guests of honour.
"The Cyrillic alphabet is probably the most enduring and precious export of Bulgaria. Centuries of European history, and some of the most moving lines of European literature have been recorded in it. Millions and millions of Europeans write their most precious words in Cyrillic first – words like mother, peace, friendship," Commissioner Georgieva said. "In these times of economic hardship, it is great to gather and celebrate an asset on which no price tag can be put – the asset of the culture we share, of enlightenment and knowledge," the Commissioner added.
Ambassadors of several countries that use variations of the Slavonic alphabet attended the event. The guests enjoyed samples of traditional Bulgarian music and dance. The photographs of the Rila Monastery, the Madara Rider and the other Bulgarian sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List will be exhibited in the European Commission's main foyer until 10 June.