FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Socialist Sofia: Sporting heroes

Posted in Bulgaria, Sofia by folkestonejack on May 21, 2016

The sporting hero has long proven to be a useful tool for communist and fascist states alike, immortalising their idealised citizens in stone and bronze. Sofia has its own collection of sporting statues to discover, though like many of the monuments from this era they are in poor shape and a frequent target for grafitti artists.

The approach to the main entrance to the Vasil Levski Stadium is lined on either side with sporting statues produced by a team of artists, such as Dimitar Daskalov, in the 1950s. Seven of the plinths are filled, giving us a football player, an athlete holding an olympic trophy, a netball player, an olympic torch bearer, a boxer, a relay runner and a woman whose sporting talents are now lost along with her arms.

The eighth plinth is empty, but I stumbled across a statue of a swimmer in the south eastern corner of Borisova gradina that looks like it might be the missing figure (located close to the intersection of aleya Yavorov and bul. Peyo K. Lavorov). Even if it is not, it was still an interesting discovery that I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t got completely lost in the extensive grounds of the park!


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