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UN Chief fascinated with Bulgaria's Plovdiv Old Town

novinite.com, 09 May 2011

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has completed his two-day Bulgarian visit in the southern city of Plovdiv where he was amazed at the history and architecture of the Old Town.

Ban was the guest of a formal lunch given by Plovdiv District Governor Ivan Totev in his honor on behalf of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

The UN head was fascinated with the cultural heritage of Plovdiv from Antiquity to modernity such as the amphitheater, the churches, and a number of the 19th century Bulgarian Revival period homes restored under a UNESCO project.

"I am extremely impressed with the historical heritage of the Plovdiv region starting with prehistoric settlements and the numerous historical finds. These are common values for the entire humankind and they must be preserved well for the future generations. I appreciate the efforts of the Bulgarian government, UNESCO, the European Union, and the District Governor of Plovdiv to preserve these riches," Ban Ki-moon wrote in the guest books of the Balabanova house, one of the top architectural monuments of the Plovdiv Old Town.

District Govenor Ivan Totev said during the lunch Ban and his Bulgarian guests talked for an entire hour and a half only about the history of Plovdiv.

"I shared with the UN Secretary-General our intention to restore the Old Town to its glory, which will allow us to apply for an UNESCO status with our cultural landscape. Ban's major impression was that Plovdiv has no analogy in the world when it comes to its cultural layers," Totev explained.

Ban's visit in Sofia and Plovdiv is especially remarkable because he is the first UN Secretary-General to come to Bulgaria after the communist period.

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