site.btaExhibition Reveals Hidden Treasures of Ivan Vazov National Theatre

Exhibition Reveals Hidden Treasures of Ivan Vazov National Theatre
Exhibition Reveals Hidden Treasures of Ivan Vazov National Theatre

An exhibition presenting the hidden treasures of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre - costumes, posters, paintings, and videos, is on display at the theatre's building in Sofia. In parallel, a digital platform in which anyone can take a digital tour and see the theatre's hidden treasures, has been launched, Milen Gerganov of the EcoFoundation non-governmental organization, organizer of the event, told BTA on Friday.

The exhibition is the result of an initiative aiming to digitalise the National Theatre’s cultural heritage showing it to the public. The project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


The offline exhibition displays digitalised archive units on monitors located in the theatre’s building. The entire project’s work process was filmed in a documentary, which can also be seen in one of the theatre’s renovated halls. It depends on the National Theatre how long the offline exhibition will be on display, Gerganov said.

Theatre’s Archive

Over 30,000 units of various kinds - photos, pictures, videotapes, posters - will be digitilised within the project. They be shown for the first time to a wide audience at national and international level, the organizer explained, adding that much of the work has already been done in partnership with the National and University Library of Iceland. A digital platform has also been created through which this archive can be used by the public, he reiterated. 

Aleksandra Yaneva, artistic secretary at the National Theatre, noted that so far, some 22,000 archive units have been uploaded to the platform, with some 3,000 more expected to be uploaded by next week. "The digital platform is available online and will soon be available on website of the National Theatre, as well," she said.

Practice Exchange with Iceland

"The practice exchange with our partner in Iceland served us very well - we went to Reykjavik, they came to Sofia," Yaneva said, explaining that the Bulgarian team had visited the National Library in Reykjavik. "It was very interesting to see their progress, to see the way they have built their digital platform and all the optimizations they have done" she said.

Digitalisation Process

According to Yaneva, it is very important not only to digitilise but also to preserve the archives of the theatre. This takes a lot of effort, she admitted. "At the moment, we are focused on footages of performances. I have a colleague whose late husband was an actor at the National Theatre. It was so amazing for her to go in and look at pictures [of him] that she had never seen," the artistic secretary recounted.

In the future, the public will be able to watch entire performances, Yaneva noted. "It is something we put a lot of effort into. It is an extremely difficult process. We have a darkened room that is specifically set up for us to sit and watch a show while it is being digitalised. Because these performances had been recorded on tapes, on filmstrips – [their] quality deteriorates over time," she emphasized, adding that the digitalization process takes a long time. "We have a lot of work to do, a long way to go," Yaneva said.







By 13:29 on 17.06.2024 Today`s news

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