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About the Founder

Lyudmila Zhivkova

Born on July 26th, 1942 in the town of Sofia, Bulgaria. Daughter of the  General Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) and Chairman of the State Council  of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria Todor Zhivkov and Dr. Mara Maleeva.

1960 – Graduated the 35th Secondary School with teaching the Russian Language “M.I. Kalinin”;

1965 – Graduated the Faculty of Philosophy and History at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”;

1969 – Appointed scientific researcher at the Institute of Balkan Studies in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS);

1970 – Specialized “History of the Balkan Peoples” /1919-1939/ in Oxford, Great Britain;

1971 – Approved by the Higher Attestation Commission (VAK) as candidate of Historical Sciences;

1971 – Appointed  First Deputy-Chairman of the Committee for  Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries;

1972 – Appointed Deputy-Chairman and First Deputy-Chairman of the Committee for Art and Culture;

1974 – Specialized art science at the Moscow State University;

1975-1981 – Chairman of the Committee for Art and Culture with the rank Minister of Culture;

1975 –Chairman of the Council of Chairmen of the Creative Unions and of the National Complex “Artistic creative work, cultural activity and mass media”;

1976 – Member of the Central Committee of BCP and of the Bureau of the Council of Ministers;

1979  - Member of  BCP’s  Politbureau  (Political Bureau);

1979 – Awarded the title “Honorary Doctor of the Tokai University for her scientific works “The Kazanluk Tomb”(1974), “The English policy of guarantees to Greece and Rumania” (1972), “Britain and the Soviet-Turkish Relations Immediately after the Montreux Conference”(1972), “British-Turkish Relations 1933-1939” (1971), “To the question of the economic expansion of Germany and Bulgaria” (1933-1939),”Bulgarian-German Relations and Contacts” (1972), “Britain’s switch over to the politics of guarantees in the spring of 1939. A Historical Review” (1970);

1976 – 1981 – Deputy to the 7th and  8th  National Assembly from the 35th Varna Electoral Region.

Chairman of the Initiative and Organizational Committee of the International Children’s Assembly “Banner of Peace”.

Publications: “British-Turkish Relations 1933-1939” (1971), “The Kazanluk Tomb” (1974), “The Four Gospels  /Tetraevangelia/ of Tsar Ivan-Alexander” (1980), “About the Perfection of  Man and Society – A Collection of articles, speeches, reports” (1980), “Personality’s Intellectual Possibilities and Creative Strengths  - A Collection of reports, articles, speeches, statements” (1985), a book about the painter Dora Boneva, etc.

Within less than a decade, a considerable turning point in the spiritual sphere was carried out under the direct guidance of Lyudmila Zhivkova. She undertook all-embracing activities for the popularization of Bulgarian culture in the world.

At her insistence in 1979, on the occasion of the International Year of the Child, Bulgaria organized under the auspices of UNESCO the International Children’s Assembly “Banner of Peace”. During that same year the monument “Banner of Peace – the Bells” was erected.

Among the successful projects, initiated by Lyudmila Zhivkova, were the traveling exhibition “Thracian Art and Culture on Bulgarian Lands” (which has been shown in more than 20 countries), the exhibitions “The Icon Wealth” and “Medieval Bulgarian Art”, the programme “The Esthetic Upbringing – a factor in the development of the personality and of society”, as well as the programmes “Leonardo  Da Vinci” and “Vladimir Ilich Lenin”.

By 1981, as Chairman of the Committee for Culture, Lyudmila Zhivkova had signed a number of bilateral international agreements for cultural, educational and scientific-technical cooperation.

In 1976, suggested by her, were established “The National Experimental School” in Gorna Banya and “The National  School for Ancient Languages and Cultures” (1977).

Lyudmila Zhivkova was the initiator for the celebration in 1981 of the 1300-th anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian state under the motto “Unity between Past, Present and Future”. In this connection national initiative committees were set up in many countries for the celebration of that anniversary.

Among her successful projects were the establishment of the Gallery for International Art and the National Palace of  Culture in Sofia, which bore her name until 1990.

In the beginning of the 1970's Lyudmila Zhivkova got in touch with the Roerich Family, became a follower of their philosophical teaching “Live Ethics” and ardently worked for the establishment in Bulgaria of a Nikolai Roerich Center with paintings by Nikolai and Sviatoslav Roerich, a documentary department with archive, library and separate sectors, integrating the overall scientific-research activity, connected with the deeds and creative work of the Roerich Family.

Thus, along her activity in the field of culture, unusually progressive for the socialist period,  and with her philosophical ideas, too, which she tried to popularize in Bulgaria, Lyudmila Zhivkova turned into a great historical exception, which was often even quite problematic for the ideological frame of its time.

Lyudmila Zhivkova passed away in Sofia on 21 July 1981.