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Museum of Socialist Art

We got lost and met two Bulgarian twins.
We? We

Vladimir Lenin.
“Would you like some ‘Lenin’ with your ‘Stalin’?”

An Australian mate I met up in the mountains of Brașov and I, were on our way to the Museum of Socialist Art in Bulgaria. I had read about it over the summer and was really excited to go check it out. The Museum of Socialist Art isn’t a history museum, but it is a museum full of history. It’s mostly comprised of an outdoor lawn, almost like a garden with concrete pathways.  Only, the garden is full of statues that used to be found throughout the city during times of Communism. Some were destroyed, as is the nature of such circumstances, including the tomb of Georgi Dimitrov. Georgi was a highly influential leader of Bulgaria, after a series of situations including exile he found himself as the leader of the , he died in 1949 and was embalmed and put on display in his mausoleum in Sofia. His body was buried after the fall of communism, and the tomb itself was torn apart in 1999.  There is an indoor portion which has a few movies playing, some paintings, and collaged newspapers. You can also watch an old propaganda film in the souvenir shop, and it now has English subtitles!

Georgi Dimitrov
Georgi Dimitrov
Georgi Dimitrov
Georgi Dimitrov

However, a lot of the sculptures that survived and are now viewable by the public in the Museum courtyard. The Museum, however, is slightly hard to spot because it isn’t visible from the main road. This, is where we found ourselves wandering around a small gravel parking lot with a lot of overgrown vegetation. We concluded to ask for help, seemed the only feasible option after wandering down a downhill road and finding ourselves with the option of “left” or “right. Neither of which was accounted for on the map the hostel receptionist drew, or on Google Maps as being part of our journey to the Museum.
We spotted a girl who looked to be in her early 20s carrying what appeared to be textbooks. So we asked her if she spoke English…in English. This is always something that perplexes me, you would think if I was asking you if you spoke a language, I wouldn’t ask the question in said language. But if you’re only there a couple days or even a few hours, it’s not likely you’ll remember how to ask. Anyway, she did, but had no idea where the Museum was. She offered to take us to a Ministry of Culture nearby, and it turns out that’s where the Museum was located. After thanking her, we went inside to get our tickets and were promptly greeted by two elderly Bulgarian women who happened to be identical twins.
As we entered the courtyard my friend asks
“so…do you think they’re sisters?”

“I’m pretty sure they’re twins.”

 Dimitar Blagoev The founding leader of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party
Dimitar Blagoev
The founding leader of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers’ Party

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