The Bi-National Commission for the Preservation of Bulgaria’s Cultural Heritage was established as an outgrowth of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Bulgaria in January of 2015. During this visit, Secretary Kerry announced that education and culture was one of a number of key areas in which the US and Bulgaria would engage in strategic dialogue. The goal of the cultural preservation commission is to bring together experts from diverse fields dealing with tangible and intangible cultural heritage and to identify projects worthy of preservation and to work with American specialists to identify and recommend best practices for such preservation efforts. The new commission is under the auspices of the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange, which has successfully been facilitating educational and cultural exchange between Bulgaria and the United States for more than twenty years. In 2016, the commission organized a conference entitled “Museum Exhibits and Standards: A Look Ahead”, which gathered leading US and Bulgarian experts in cultural heritage and museum studies to discuss contemporary tendencies in museum exhibition, the future of digital expositions and mobile applications for stimulating cultural tourism, and best practices in designing events and educational programs dedicated to cultural heritage. As a follow up to this conference, the commission organized two museum education seminars with US-trained experts in November 2017 in Sofia and Varna. In cooperation with Plovdiv Municipality and My Museum Foundation, the commission will also be offering a series of seminars to Plovdiv-area museums throughout 2018 in preparation for Plovdiv 2019 – European Capital of Culture.
The members of the Bi-National Commission for the Preservation of Bulgaria’s Cultural Heritage are: