Public support for Bulgaria’s request

Bulgaria’s request for US assistance to protect its cultural heritage was granted in on January 14, 2014 with the signing on a bilateral agreement. These statements are taken from more than 400 petition signatures SAFE gathered online via change.org:

I am concerned with the preservation of archaeological and historical heritage.  It is the antiquity market that stimulates illicit digging and smuggling. -Maya Vassileva

I agree to the urgent need to stop the rampant looting of Bulgarian antiquities and to combat the existing predatory and mercantile attitudes towards it. Furthermore, I support any initiative that fosters civic responsibility and public concern for Bulgarian cultural heritage. -Adela Sobotkova

Bulgaria has a unique cultural heritage that needs to be protected.  Illegal excavation and smuggling endanger this heritage and destroy irreplaceable knowledge about the past. -Lynn E. Roller

The United States is a state party of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and should do its part to prevent the illicit trade in antiquities from other state’s parties(irrespective of article 9).  As per article 3.  What is happening now under everyone’s noses on the US antiquities market, in which artifacts removed from archaeological sites in Bulgaria have figured prominently) fills me with disgust. It is well past time for the United States to step in and do something about this.  -Paul Barford

Cultural antiquities are our collective human heritage and best seen in the context of their places of origin and not, as imperialism has done over the past couple of centuries, decapitated as trophies displayed in compartmentalized alien settings. Such greed is savage, stupid, and at the root of our planet’s recent traumas. -Dr. J. Stanley-Baker

Bulgaria must be protected against the looting of its cultural heritage; implementing a bilateral agreement will help. -Elizabeth Simpson

Bulgaria is a cradle of the European civilization. It allows people from the whole over the world to come here and see it, not just visit it in the museums in their own countries. -Plamen Petkov

The reason is very sustainable … I would like my children to know and be able to see parts of the Bulgarian history, because I believe there are a lot of different archaeological, architectural and historic parts that could be seen. -Gergana Dimitrova

My voice against the destruction of irreplaceable and unique cultural heritage in Bulgaria. Fight the looting and smuggling of cultural property! -D W

I have visited Bulgaria, formerly a Greek and then Roman province, and it is rich in antiquites. Their archaeological service does its best to protect and preserve its antiquities. The U.S. should cooperate with Bulgaria to preserve its rich heritage. -Lucille Roussin

We must do our best to help Bulgaria preserve and maintain its archaeological sites and artifacts. -Anthony Johnson

How can I tell my children some day and the next generation that I’ve let our history be taken out of our country, for someone’s profit? We have a unique cultural heritage combining mixtures of so many cultures over a long period of time. It’s worth protecting. We’re trying to become a touristic  from formerly agricultural country, and then we let our tourist-summoning heritage be stolen away? That’s just dumb! Isn’t our culture and economy suffering enough already? -Kalina Atanasova

Bulgaria is an unique part of the world that should be preserved. We are proud of our historical past and want to preserve our cultural heritage. -Kamelia Yotova

The US is a state party of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and should do its part to prevent the illicit trade in antiquities from other states parties (irrespective of article 9). As per article 3. What is happening now under everyone’s noses on the US antiquities market (in which artefacts removed from archaeological sites in Bulgaria have figured prominently) fills me with disgust. It is well past time for the US to step in and do something about this.

-Paul Barford