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Boyana church fully restored and awaits visitors

Date: 04.10.2008

The end of the lengthy and controversial restoration of one of Bulgaria's cultural jewels, the Boyana Church, was marked by Culture Minister Stefan Danailov on October 2 3008.

Over the years there has been a lot of debate about the way the church was being restored. Some claimed that the chosen methods would do more damage than good.

A public campaign was organised by Eterna foundation and Stroitelstvo Gradut newspaper, who managed to attract more than 60 companies to the cause, and the final stages of restoration started in 2006. According to Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of National Museum of History, the work cost 400 000 leva.

The 10th century Church is in Sofia's Boyana neighbourhood and has long been proclaimed one of Bulgaria's cultural trademarks. It has been on UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979 and since then has attracted millions of visitors from inside and outside the country.

The church frescoes were first restored and cleaned between 1912and 1915 by Austrian and a Bulgarian specialists. Another restoration took place between 1934 and 1944. The church was closed to the public in 1977 to protect the fabric of the building and for further restoration to be carried out. It was opened to the public in 2000 and is currently under the management of the National Museum of History, which is also in Boyana neighbourhood.

The church is now open seven days a week from 9.30am till 17.30pm. Admission is 10 leva a person. The church curators offer guides in English, French, Russian and German for 10 leva. If you would like a guided tour you need to notify the church two or three days in advance by telephoning 959 0939.

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