New Minister of Culture Appointed in Bulgaria


    SOFIA: Atanas Atanassov, a 31-year-old actor and producer of documentaries, was appointed Minister of Culture on 13 December 2021. He was nominated by Bulgaria’s PM Kiril Petkov, former caretaker Economy Minister and co-founder of the electoral alliance “We Continue the Change”, launched on 19 September 2021.

    Atanas AtanassovAtanassov is the youngest member of the new Cabinet, composed of nominees of four political parties after the parliamentary elections in November 2021. He has a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts from the US Whitman College, where he studied with a full scholarship.

    In addition to being an actor, he produced his documentary Unlock the Stage, which tells the story of a cultural project under the same name.

    Atanassov raised money through an online campaign in the United States and managed to raise enough to revive the theatre and the community centre of his grandparents’ native village Tatarevo. The local mayor joined the cause and provided some additional funds. After the renovation in October 2015, the village had a film screening for the first time in decades.

    For six consecutive years, Atanassov has been organising his festival “Unlocked” with dozens of concerts and cultural events. He has lived in Hollywood, Berlin and London.

    “Atanassov is a young man who impressed me personally, as he not only restored the community centre in a Plovdiv village, but also brought world stars to it”, Petkov said.

    For his part, Atanassov “continues the change because it is possible and because Bulgaria has an extremely rich culture and history that deserve to be on the world stage”.

    The freshly elected government comes with a long awaited promise to raise the money for culture up to 1 percent of the country’s GDP.