Friday, 25 May 2007

Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, part II

As I've previously written, 21st and 22nd of May were open-door days at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAN). I went there and here's what I found.
First, the building looks as impressive from the inside as from the outside. It was built in the beginning of the 20th century, just opposite from the National Assembly building.
There is a permanent exhibition about the history of BAN and its predecessor, the Bulgarian Literary Association.
On the ground floor there was an exhibition of Orthodox Christian music notes and scripts, some of them dating as early as the 5th century A.D., others: from the late 19th century.
What stroke me when I spent some time inside was the atmosphere. It just smelled like state institution bureaucracy. I always have the same feeling when I enter buildings of state institutions. With all my respect to science and to the contribution of scientist from BAN to the Bulgarian society, every corner was screaming that the whole place was lacking liveliness. Most people there showed no interest at all about the few visitors in the late afternoon (I heard that earlier the building was visited by much more people).
But wait, in the darkness I saw a flash of light. Literary as well. The lights of the dark corridor were turned on and a grey-haired but lively man entered, motivating with words his colleagues to be more active and to show real celebration spirit. He came to me and my friend and started exlaining about the whole event around the temporary exhibition of Orthodox music. He even went back to his office then returned with a printout of the speech of a scientist who made the research and gathered the documents for the exhibition in question.

I don't know for sure who this man was, I presume he is one of the "big names" at BAN. There should be more people there like him at the places which are said to be the drivers of our society in general.

P.S. I hope it's not forbidden to take photos inside the building.

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