St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library presents part of Bulgaria's literary heritage

 Have you ever asked yourselves how a country's literary heritage is restored and preserved and what happens to valuable books if they are in the wrong hands? An exhibition at St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library presents such type of literature, which was confiscated from an intermediary who attempted to sell it to private collectors. Following a judgment of the Shumen District Court, the library gained possession of 91 exceptional books written in Russian, Armenian, Turkish, French and Bulgarian. The exhibition displays only 45 of those books, because the library lobby is not spacious enough. Those books are of exceptional value and will be preserved for the future generations, Director of the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library Dr. Krasimira Alexandrova told Radio Bulgaria.  Half of the confiscated books were early printed and the library did not have copies of those books. The rest are first editions of Bulgarian authors and foreign literature books. Few people know that the National Library in Sofia keeps some of the rarest and most-valuable books related to Slavonic literary heritage.  There is a manuscript among the exponents with the signature of Bulgarian revolutionary Georgi Stoykov Rakovski. According to experts, this was the first edition of a Masonic Book. Associate ProfessorLubomir Georgiev who works at the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library told Radio Bulgaria details about the secret of that book: “That manuscript proved that even in the second decade of the 21st century the Bulgarians still need the symbols of their national revival. Secondly, this manuscript shows how people with self-interested motives resort to various maneuvers, in order to forge a historical document. The manuscript also shows us how to reveal such a forgery. We have many reasons to believe that the manuscript was forged. The person who wrote that manuscript made great efforts to fake it. He found an old 19th century book with a suitable book-cover. Later the author made a supplement to that manuscript. ” In her article named Forefinger, or How to Sell Rakovski Successfully Associate Professor Desislava Ivanova from Shumen University wrote that the manuscript did not belong to Georgi Rakovski for sure. It was copied from a facsimile dating back to the beginning of the 19th century. According to Desislava Ivanova's study, the text was written intentionally in archaic manner and was made to sound similar to texts typical of that period. The author purposefully missed facts and names of the past and avoided quoting authors such as Marin Drinov.  Why should we forge our past in the name of a personal benefit? This question will again remain unanswered. A nation which does not remember its history has no future. We turn our national heroes into idols, yet we do not know their legacy and their history. We use their names for personal benefit and misunderstood patriotism which is detrimental to our society. The St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library will host the exhibition until October 30. It is worth seeing the rare exponents displayed at the exhibition, in order to find parts of Bulgaria's literary heritage, which makes us feel really proud.   English version: Kostadin Atanasov