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Seven travelling letters from the Bulgarian alphabet bring the spirit and culture of Bulgaria to Par
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One year after the Hidden Letters appeared in Sofia, the initiative evolved into Bulgarian Lettersand started on its travels across Europe. The idea and the design of the project belong to Kiril Zlatkov 12 benches made in the shape of the letters from the Bulgarian alphabet , , , , , , etc., which have no graphic analogue from Roman or Greek characters. In this way the author gives people a place to take a break from modern life, but also a place where poetry, typography and the urban environment converge. Placed in emblematic spots in the centre of Sofia, the benches were a reminder that Bulgarians are the only nation that celebrate a day dedicated to the Slavonic alphabet and culture 24 May that our alphabet is the third official alphabet of the European Union after the Roman and the Greek script, and that it is used by over 300 million people in more than 10 countries.
On each one of the letter-benches there are poems attached by contemporary Bulgarian poets.

It took some effort but ultimately the initiative crystallized into the letter-benches placed in spots where people will feel comfortable reading. You cant feed the pigeons sitting down into nothing. A person reading is most often a person sitting down, said Kiril Slatkov at the projects presentation.

At the beginning of June, Bulgarian letters appeared out in the open, in the heart of Paris, and they will stay there until the end of September at the initiative of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris and under the auspices of the Bulgarian embassy in France. The art installation will remain for the summer in some of the most frequented spots in the city the Seine quayside, next to the Pont des Invalides on the Left Bank. The letter-benches are there with the support of the Mairie de Paris and are part of the celebrations of the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and France.
There are seven travelling letters, and on each letter-bench there are poems by Bulgarian authors translated into French by Georgi Gospodinov, Nadezhda Radulova, Silvia Choleva, Mirela Ivanova, Amelia Licheva etc. The translations into French are by Bulgarian language and literature expert Marie Vrinat-Nikolov and Ralitsa Mihailova Frison-Roche. In addition there is a short text acquainting French readers with the basics of the Cyrillic alphabet.
Nobody has any doubts that the letters and the poets are capable of showing the true face of Bulgaria to the world, that is why the travelling Bulgarian letters project is so popular with the reading and writing public in this country. One of the authors of the poems accompanying the Bulgarian letters is Silvia Choleva. She says that from Sofia she can hear and feel the French passers-by stopping and reading the poetic messages left by the Bulgarian authors:
What matters is that these letters now provoke random passers-by who can get to know the Bulgarian letters. Many see them for the first time; they want to know how they are pronounced, who created them and why they are written in that way. The benches themselves are very comfortable and big enough for several people to sit on, and they are a great way to take a break. I think this is the best way to present Bulgarians by the achievements of our spirit and culture. If it were simply books in a bookstore, they would be hardly likely to attract any attention in the ocean of world literature, but being where they are, people can pick them up a to read at their leisure. I hope that this project will continue its travels and there will be other modern poets joining it. I was thrilled by a video I was sent by a Bulgarian woman who has been living in Paris for years. It showed a French poetess reading one of my own poems translated into French. Even if it just the sound of our poetry, that too is a powerful thing that shifts layers, like the flapping of the butterfly wings.
Source: bnr.bg
Wednesday, Jul 24, 2019
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