‘Prince Gotse stolen’

Published on 11 September 2013 at 11:06

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A new UNESCO exhibition in Belgrade has drawn Bulgarian ire by featuring revolutionary Gotse Delchev – a leading figure in the uprising against the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the 20th century – and describing him as a Macedonian, with no mention of Bulgaria.

“Skopje has once again misappropriated our history. Our neighbours have even managed to dupe UNESCO,” announces an outraged Standart. The exhibition describes Delchev as the founder of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (IMRO, or VMRO in Bulgarian and Macedonian), whereas at its foundation, the group was known as the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organisation, due to its Bulgarian links.

After the fall of communism, the VMRO divided into several groups, which are now a feature of the right and the left of Bulgarian and Macedonian politics.

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The daily reports that Bulgaria’s National Museum of History has withdrawn from the exhibition, which commemorates memory and identity in the 19th Century, which involved 12 national history museums.

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