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Frontpage News 2011 EEA Grants-financed Museum of Contemporary Art opens in Sofia


EEA Grants-financed Museum of Contemporary Art opens in Sofia

Today’s opening of Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art (SAMCA) marks the completion of one of the largest EEA Grants-financed projects in Bulgaria.

The building of the former Sofia Arsenal has been completely reconstructed and turned into a museum of contemporary art. SAMCA is Sofia's first museum of its kind, in compliance with the highest European standards. The museum is set to host high-profile exhibitions and aims at establishing itself as a major venue for cultural activities in the Bulgarian capital.

Opening exhibition from Norway

The museum's opening exhibition 'Paradigm', featuring contemporary Norwegian art, is a new production by the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts. The exhibition includes works by several renown Norwegian artists in the fields of ceramics, glass and metals and was previously on display in Zagreb.

Bulgaria's Minister of Culture Vezhdi Rashidov and Norway’s Ambassador to Bulgaria Tove Skarstein were present to announce the completion of the first stage of the EEA Grants-financed project, including a major reconstruction of the building of the Sofia Arsenal at 2 Cherni Vrah Boulevard. The exhibition area on the first floor has been completed in full. The EEA Grants have contributed with €1 million, covering 85% of all costs; the remainder has been provided by the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture.

Launch of second stage

The project will now enter into the next stage, in which the second and third floors of the building will be completed. A new depository will be constructed in compliance with all contemporary museum requirements, as well as a separate hall for temporary exhibitions. As suggested by Minister of Culture Vezhdi Rashidovand, with the assistance of Sofia Municipality, the area around the museum will include an open sculpture park with an area of 5,000 square meters.

Read more about SAMCA

Photo: Nikolay Abadjiev, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sofia