FINANCE MINISTRY WILL BE DONATING ARCHEOLOGICAL VALUABLES FROM THE SLAVIANI BANK
The Finance Ministry will not pay BGN1MN for the pictures, archeological finds, coins and icons, acquired at the open tender, organized by the insolvent Slaviani Commercial Bank. The amount will be deducted from the bankrupt bank's liabilities. The Finance Ministry is entitled to that by article 85, item 8 of the Bank Insolvency Act. The financial institution, owned till 1996 by Georgi Agafonov, owes BGN30MN to the State.
On August 7 Stoyan Mitov and Haralambi Kirkov, trustees in bankruptcy of the Slaviani bank, were ordered by Bisser Manolov, Chairman of the Bank Deposit Insurance Fund, to hold the tender. The tender dossiers cost BGN1,500 and BGN100,000 was demanded as a deposit for particiaption, i.e. 10% of the initial bidding price. Despite the interest on the part of foreign collectors, only the Finance Ministry paid the deposit for participation. According to pundits, foreigners did not take part in the bidding due to possible hindrances when taking the valuables out of the country. Thus, practically, the Finance Ministry turned out the only player and won the valuables offered at the tender against BGN1MN. The insolvent bank's trustees in bankruptcy notified the Bank Deposit Insurance Fund who had won the tender and presented the entire documentation. The Bank Deposit Insurance Fund is to check if the procedure has been obsereved and issue a decree for the transfer of the property. Part of Slaviani bank's collection was purchased by a contract with the National Museum of History (NMH) in 1993-1994, said Bozhidar Dimitrov who was back then and is still the museum's Director. The bank paid then BGL2.5MN for the valuables. (In end-1993 the USD was exchanged against BGL32, and at December 31, 1994 the USD/BGL exchange rate was 1:66.) NMH's experts were estimating what could be offered for sale when the museum had a larger quantity of objects from our cultural and historical heritage of unascertained origin, Mr. Dimitrov added. It is interesting and somewhat strange that the evaluation of the assets, offered at the tender, was made by NMH's licensed valuators, under the guidance of the same Bozhidar Dimitrov. Academician Svetlin Roussev was also one of the evaluators. In the end, 576 objects - pictures, icons, archeological finds, etc... are already ownership of the Finance Ministry. The expert Gavrail Lazov evaluated 40 bronze statuettes from the Greek and Roman pantheon and of ceramics pottery at EUR118,885. It is said that some of the objects are of a high sicentific and cultural value and the NMH has previously included them in exhibitions. A Thracian type helmet and a statuette of god Eros of unique size and quality of moulding have been included in the museum' permanent exhibition. The experts Vladimir Penchev and Ilya Prokopov have calculated the value of 420 coins (Roman, Byzantine and medieval) which have been in NMH's museum since 1999 at GBP118,885. The 40 icons were evaluated by the experts Teofana Matakieva and Ralitza Lozanova at USD28,602. Academician Svetlin Roussev announced that the pictures, previously owned by Slaviani bank, were worth a total of BGN168,500. The most valuable among them are the 12 canvases, painted by Dimiter Gyudjenov in the 1930s. The are presently on the walls of the Presidency.