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Monument to Georgi Markov

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The monumental two-meter statue situated at “Journalist” square stands as the creative creation of sculptor Danko Dankov. The genesis of this idea can be traced back to the Initiative Committee “Memorial to Georgi Markov,” spearheaded by Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev, who served as the president from 1990 to 1997, and chaired by the dissident writer Dimitar Bochev. Funding for this endeavor was secured through the American foundation “St. George Foundation,” established by political emigrant Dr. Georgi Lazarov. The conceptual design for the monument was actualized by sculptor Danko Dankov.

Georgi Markov’s story is one marked by exile and defiance. Departing the country in 1969 under the guise of a trip to Italy with his brother, he eventually settled in London in 1971, where he commenced his career as a journalist in the Bulgarian section of the BBC. Subsequently, he expanded his contributions by collaborating with DW and “Free Europe” radio stations. However, his absence and refusal to return to Bulgaria resulted in a 6-year, 6-month prison sentence handed down by the Bulgarian court in absentia on December 27, 1972. His name and works were systematically erased from official Bulgarian publications and media until 1989.

During his time in exile, Markov devoted himself to producing “Absentee Reports” between 1975 and 1978. These reports, comprising sketches and analyses of life within socialist Bulgaria, were broadcasted weekly on Radio Free Europe. Markov’s brave and enduring commitment to journalistic integrity and his insightful observations from afar added a distinctive voice to the discourse on the socio-political landscape of Bulgaria during that era.

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