24 September, 2023

”Book of Iran” was presented on the fourth floor of the National Palace of Culture (photo: The Bridge of Friendship)

The publishing of this book, which is dedicated to Persian art, is an important event in the life of Bulgarian Iranian Studies

Vladimir Mitev

Bulgarian Iranology marked the translation and the publishing in Bulgarian language of “Book of Iran. The History of Iranian Art” by doctor Habibollah Ayatollahi, with an event at the Book Fair, Sofia. The book’s launch took place on 12th December, 2019 and was organised by the Cultural Representation of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Bulgaria, publishing house “Gutenberg” and “The Association of Persian Language and Culture’s Friends of the Republic of Bulgaria”.

At the book launch there were professors and students of Iranian Studies, members of the Union of Bulgarian Translators and of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, participants in the two national interdisciplinary expeditions in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (2008) and Iran (2010), who have directed their interest towards the studying of the roots of old Bulgarians in Central Asia and Middle East, professors from Sofia University and the New Bulgarian University, teachers from different high schools in Sofia and admirers of Persian art. Before them, the book’s editor – the diplomat Angel Orbetsov, shared his impressions on the various types of arts in Iran, on the cultural heritage, which the Persian civilization has received and on the historic development of the Iranian culture. Ambassador Angel Orbetsov, who is an Iranologist by education, has worked three years on the book’s editing.

In his speech Mr. Hamid Reza Azadi – director of the Iranian Cultural Center in Sofia, thanked the people, who contributed to this volume’s publishing. These are the translator Diana Bratoeva; the editor Angel Orbetsov; the former guest professor in Sofia University Prof. Dr. Morteza Nouraei and Alireza Pourmohammad, both of whom have helped with the understanding of a number of Persian notions; and Dr. Anatolii Kunev, who is the director of the publishing house “Gutenberg”. The book was printed with the financial support of the Iranian Cultural Center of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Bulgaria.

The head of the specialty Iranian Studies at Sofia University, Prof. Dr. Ivo Panov noted that the book shows Iran as a carrier of a rich and specific culture and as a bridge between the ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia and our modern times. Prof. Panov was convinced that the book will be useful for the people who are interested in Iran and for the students in the specialty Iranian Studies, who study a number of disciplines, related to the history of culture and arts in Persia and Iran.

The last one who was to speak was Dr. Anatolii Kunev from the publishing house ”Gutenberg”. He recalled the famous words that the world should not be a space for war, but a field for cultural competition. He also found domains, where Bulgarian and Iranian culture can contest reciprocally the first place in the world. Angel Orbestov added that probably there will be a second improved edition, where along with the better explanations of the notions, the black and white pictures will be replaced by coloured ones.

The presentation of ”Book of Iran. The History of Iranian Arts” was a long-awaited event in the life of Bulgarian Iranology. The public on the fourth floor at the National Palace of Culture was more than the available seats. It would be marvelous, if there are more similar events regarding the cultural relations between Bulgaria and Iran.

Prof. Dr. Ivo Panov speaks at the book launch (English subtitles)

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