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Vesela Stoeva: This spring in Paris millions of people will repeat the name Bulgaria

16 Marzec 2015

On the 14th and 15th of April, one of the largest Bulgarian cultural events for the last decades will take place in Paris. Then, the exhibition “Epopee of Thracian Kings, Archaeological Discoveries in Bulgaria” will open in the Louvre, showing all the opulence of one of the most ancient and creative civilisations in our land. It is expected that the exhibition which will run until the 20th of July will be seen by 4 mln potential visitors. Parallel to the exhibition in which 17 museums from all over the country will take place, a Bulgarian cultural season will be held, dedicated to contemporary art; a scientific seminar on Bulgarian archaeology will be organised, as well as a business forumaimed at stimulating investments in our country’s economy. A large advertising campaign of domestic cultural tourism will be carried out as well. The organisation of such a major event requires lots of resources – about 900 000 Euro. One third of them have been provided by the Louvre, the second third, by the Bulgarian government, and for the rest of the funds it is relied on private Bulgarian companies, on French businessmen who do business in our country, as well as on individual contributors. Up until now, 30-35 companies have taken part in the fundraising campaign; about 15 more are expected to do so. Thus, with the joint efforts of Bulgarians and French, an event will be organised which will surely be talked about a lot and for long not only in Paris but in all the countries from which the Louvre’s visitors come from. One month before the vernissage in the French capital, the 24 hours newspaper looked for some of the contributors to the exhibition of Thracian treasures and asked them in several consecutive issues to tell about their motives to support it financially. Today we offer you the interview with Mrs.Vesela Stoeva, Deputy-chairman of the Board of Directors of Sopharma: MARIYA PETROVA - Mrs. Stoeva, why did Sopharma decided to become a contributor to the exhibition of Thracian treasures in the Louvre? - Because we are Bulgarians. Because we are a national and socially responsible company. Because this is an incredible opportunity for Bulgaria to be presented in its best light, with its rich cultural and historical heritage, with its talented artists, musicians, performers. This looks like a unique cultural season in Paris, with a number of initiatives which will begin with the opening of the exhibition in the Louvre, the most visited museum in the world. I wholeheartedly support the initiative of Minister Vezhdi Rashidov approved by the whole Bulgarian government. We admire the way the French country and the French cultural elite responded. We appreciate the enormous work on the organisation by the Bulgarian and French historians, archaeologists, restorers and museum employees. This spring millions of people will read and repeat the name Bulgaria. It’s impossible not to respond to that! - The company you represent often sponsors cultural events, mostly in the field of fine arts. How do you choose which project to support out of the many that surely hope for your financial help? - I wouldn’t say it is that often. We are a public company and we follow certain restrictions imposed by our company policy. We insist on supporting causes. We cannot however neglect the opportunity for the Bulgarian public to meet with the work of brilliant contemporary artists or to delight in the works of Rodin or Picasso. - Your activities are related to human health. What other charities do you finance? - Charity is a corporate value for Sopharma. Our work includes a series of initiatives related to helping the disadvantaged social groups – orphans, children and adults in specialised homes. Besides regular donations of medicines, we organise free medical examinations, consultations and therapies. We take part in a number of charity bazaars. We have many initiatives related to stimulating sports and healthy living – camps, picnics, sports events. We pay special attention to the fight against smoking. We try to bring meaning to our message “Life is good when we are healthy!” - Do you find any relation between art and medicines? - Yes, as far as art serves spiritual health, medicines help physical health. To have a complete life, one needs both. - Does your company have any interests in the French market and how will you use in this regard the organised meetings with the French business within the exhibition? - It rather has not. We will show respect to the economic forum. This is an opportunity for many companies to take advantage of the upcoming meetings. But I would like to point out that our participation as contributors does not have any economic subtext or expectations for promotion of the company. - How can we give publicity to our country abroad? What logo should we choose for our country? And what we have to focus on in order to attract tourists to Bulgaria – on the cheap seaside, the wine, the spa, the culture or spirituality – churches and monasteries? - Forums like the one in Paris are a model for advertising our country. In this case, the idea to show Bulgaria as an attractive destination for cultural tourism is fundamental. We have extraordinary resources in this respect. This would surely awake the interest of the millions of visitors of the Louvre and would direct part of them to our country. And everybody who has had the opportunity to travel and get to know Bulgarian nature, to touch to our folklore and traditions, to see for himself our hospitality, almost always returns again. And brings others with him. - How can the self-confidence of Bulgarians be stimulated regarding history and culture? What should be done to stimulate them to preserve more zealously the historical monuments and artefacts which would present us to the world? - I don’t think Bulgarians lack self-confidence in this aspect. We live in a beautiful country and appreciate our history. Each of us has to find the stimuli for himself and to manage to forward them to his children. The way goes through education and upbringing.