Professor Svetla Dimitrova – Chairman of the BNK of ICOM took part in the two-day scientific jubilee scientific conference “Cultural heritage – art – museums”, held on May 29 and 30 at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, in honor of a corresponding member, professor, doctor of Sciences Mila Santova. On behalf of ICOM-Bulgaria, she congratulated the jubilee. More than 40 leading scientists and experts from institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, universities and museums in the country took part in the event. The topics of the reports cover the scientific issues in which she has worked over the years, Member-cor. Prof. D.Sci. Mila Santova.
The conference was opened by the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria Iliana Yotova, who in her welcome speech said: “It is a great honor for me to be able to participate in today’s prestigious conference. There is probably no greater gift that a person can receive for his anniversary than the presence of his colleagues and this rich program that I was able to study before coming to the event… We need not only to talk about Bulgarian culture, we have need and to show it outside, because even today the image of our country is not the one we all want,” added Ms. Yotova. According to her, there are very few people, not only on a national, but on a European, and even global scale, who can be honored with the definition of “encyclopedist”, such as Art. cor. Santova can certainly be called. “You are a person who is a real wake-up call and successor of Bulgarian writers – a somewhat forgotten word, but on the other hand, very beautiful and very true”, remarked Iliyana Yotova. Prof. Santova was also addressed by Assoc. prof. Dr. Elka Traikova – scientific secretary of the department “Cultural – historical heritage and national identity” at the BAS, the general secretary of the National Commission of the Republic of Bulgaria for UNESCO – Zornitsa Grekova, prof. Dr. Vladimir Penchev – director of the Institute of Ethnology and Folklor studies with Ethnographic Museum at BAS. Assoc. Dr. Stefan Belishki – Deputy Rector of the National Academy of Sciences read a congratulatory address on behalf of the rector of the Academy – Prof. Georgi Yankov, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Plamen Sabev on behalf of the Regional History Museum (RIM), Veliko Tarnovo, and the department in “Ethnology and cultural anthropology” of the University of Veliko Tarnovo “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”. The congratulations were joined by Prof. Yoanna Spasova – Dikova – Director of the Institute for the Study of Arts at the BAS, as well as the present representatives of the group of the Bistrica Grandmothers, included in the UNESCO World Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage elements, who performed a short musical greeting from an archaic Shopian diphthong to Prof. Santova’s.
Member-cor. Prof. D.Sci. Mila Santova was Deputy Minister of Culture, long-time director of the Institute of Folklore at the BAS, first director of the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore with Ethnographic Museum at the BAS. He is the long-term chairman of ICOM – Bulgaria. She was chairman, vice-chairman, member of the National Council for Intangible Cultural Heritage under the Minister of Culture, as well as other councils in the Ministry of Culture – on museum work, cultural tourism, community centers, etc. She is the recipient of a series of awards, among which “Golden Age” – star and certificate from the Minister of Culture, commemorative medal “50 years of Bulgaria in UNESCO”, distinction “For services to the BAS”, and Certificate from the chairman of the BAS for comprehensive activity for research and popularization of the Bulgarian intangible Cultural Heritage. Particularly significant is the work of Member-cor. Prof. D.Sci. Mila Santova in the field of intangible cultural heritage (ICH). She actively works for the application in the country of the provisions of the UNESCO Convention from 2003. Mila Santova represents Bulgaria in the first UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of Natural Heritage. She is the author and/or leader of the teams that developed the first three entries of Bulgarian elements in the UNESCO World Representative List of ICH elements.
Sources: BTA, 24 hours, website of IEFEM-BAN, etc.

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