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News 30 Aug 17

Great Bulgarian Summit to Take Place in Ukraine

Bulgarians wish to create "a regional Mecca" out of the alleged resting place of the founder of the Bulgarian nation, Khan Kubrat, in Ukraine’s central Poltava region.

Mariya Cheresheva
BIRN
Sofia
A project for the memorial park of Khan Kubrat. Photo: Raise foundation

The Great Bulgarian Summit, brought into existence by both NGOs and public figures, is set to take place on September 16-17 at the alleged mount of Khan Kubrat (605-665 AD) near the village of Mala Pereshchepina, central Ukraine.

Its organisers noted that while the event has no specific political agenda and has not yet received the official support of the Bulgarian government, it does have the backing of over 50 municipalities and the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad.

“The Great Bulgarian Summit in Mala Pereshchepina village in Ukraine is aimed only at [preserving] the spiritual and cultural memory of the Bulgarians,” Rumen Spasov, the president of the committee responsible for initiating the event said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Earlier in June he told Bulgaria on Air TV that the aim of the initiative is to make the mount of Khan Kubrat a holy place for Bulgarians. Kubrat is the father of Khan Asparuh, who founded the first Bulgarian State in 681 AD.

“Our goal is to turn this place into the Bulgarian Mecca,” he said. A primary patron of the summit is Bulgaria’s top professional boxer Kubrat Pulev.

The committee behind the initiative is also raising funds to build a memorial park for Kubrat and his five sons at Mala Pereschepina.

In 2001, the Bulgarian community in Ukraine, lead by Nikolay Gaber, a Ukrainian politician of Bulgarian origin and the leader of Ukraine’s Patriotic Party, erected a memorial wall at the mount and held the first Great Bulgarian Summit.

In 2012, activists built a makeshift alley leading to the site.

Bulgaria’s “Raise” foundation also seeks to raise 500,000 leva (around 250,000 euros), to ensure the building of the memorial park.

The foundation entered the media spotlight earlier this year by launching a campaign which offered 200 leva (around 100 euros) to anyone naming their child after a Bulgarian ruler. The campaign was cancelled after it provoked a flurry of mockery on social media.

Khan Kubrat united the proto-Bulgarians from the Black Sea and Caucasus in the 7th century AD to form the Old Great Bulgaria tribal union. His mount which was discovered by chance by a Ukrainian boy in 1912.

It forms a part of the famous Mala Pereschepina’s treasure. Among the rest are masterpieces from Byzantian and Persian eras. Some local treasures are kept in the Ermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.

In 1984 the German archaeologist Joachim Werner read the signs of two of the rings from the treasure as “Kkubratu” – thereby linking them to the ruler of Old Great Bulgaria.

One hypothesis suggests that the treasure is there because it was part of Kubrat’s funeral. 

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