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The British Museum displays the Bulgarian national treasure – the Panagyurishte treasure


The Panagyurishte Treasure is included in the exhibition “Luxury and Power: From Persia to Greece” at the British Museum.

The exhibition explores the history of luxury as a political tool in the Middle East and Southeast Europe in the period 550 – 30 BC.

In the announcement about the exhibition on the website of the British Museum, the presence of the exceptional Panagyurishte treasure from Bulgaria is explicitly emphasized.

Exhibition curator Jamie Fraser enables us to trace the relationship between wealth and politics through the first millennium BC, presenting dazzling objects from Europe to Asia.

“This exhibition has brought together artefacts from many different cultures that have existed over time to tell us much more about the history of luxury. As we look at these extraordinary objects we see how connected and permeated by different cultures the Greco-Persian world is. The Thracians, the Turco-Anatolian kingdoms and many others that present a highly connected cultural world,” said Dr. Jamie Fraser.

The Panagyurishte gold treasure was discovered on December 8, 1949 and consists of nine vessels with a total weight of just over 6 kg. It is believed that the set belonged to a ruler of the Odrisi tribe from the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC. and was used for religious ceremonies.

Its style and decoration combine Thracian and Hellenic influences. The Bulgarian golden treasure is visiting London for the first time since 1976.

“I am extremely pleased that we can have the Bulgarian treasure as part of this exhibition. It is the pinnacle of this exhibition and the star that garners the most applause. I have no doubt about it. Every visitor who sees this exhibition will leave it with the memory of the dazzling, spectacular, gorgeous Panagyur treasure. However, this treasure is more than just a remarkable array of objects. It brings together the narrative of this exhibition – that things are connected when it comes to luxury. Because this hoard represents just such a bridge of Greek, Persian and local influences in culture and art,” said Dr Jamie Fraser.

The exhibition was opened on the 4th of May in the presence of the Vice President of Bulgaria, Iliana Yotova and the Minister of Culture, Nayden Todorov, and their host was the director of the British Museum, Hartwig Fischer.

“To have the treasure in this exhibition is an extraordinary privilege. But in order to have it here in the British Museum, we are extremely grateful for the help and cooperation of Ambassador Marin Raikov and the Bulgarian Embassy in London, as well as our wonderful colleagues from the National History Museum in Sofia, they were extremely cooperative and I think this is just the beginning of a long cooperation”, he added.

The exhibition can be seen at the British Museum until August 13.

Photo: The official opening on May 4 this year was attended by the Vice President of Bulgaria Iliana Yotova / Presidency of the Republic of Bulgaria.

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