BTA News

BTA Hosts Exhibition “75 years of NATO and 20 years of Bulgaria in NATO”

An exhibition “75 years of NATO and 20 years of Bulgaria in NATO” was opened at the national press club of the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) in Sofia and in 35 national press clubs in the country and abroad on Friday. The display, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and 20 years of Bulgaria’s accession to NATO, reveals in footage and documents key historical moments preserved in the BTA archive.

The exhibition will be shown in digital version in the BTA press clubs in the country and abroad.

The exhibition has five messages, said BTA Director General Kiril Valchev at the opening.

As the first message Valchev highlighted that of the Bulgarian media only BTA can objectively tell the full story of NATO, because only the national news agency of Bulgaria keeps news and photos about the organization from its first day in 1949 until today. “And preserving and showing history as it is, without pathos of denial or enthusiasm, remains the most important condition for the next day to be a student of the previous one, as the ancient Roman proverb goes,” he said.

Second, of the Bulgarian media, only BTA can present this story simultaneously throughout Bulgaria in its homes in 26 regional capitals and four other large cities that are not regional centers, as well as in six other national press clubs in neighboring countries and among large Bulgarian communities abroad, Valchev also noted. The message, he said, is that this network, which the BTA has tripled in the last three years, is that the strength is in presence and interconnections, which is what the organization, which is the focal point, relies on.

A third important message is that only those decisions that have a view for many years ahead matter, the BTA Director General said. He added that this should make us think about whether Bulgaria’s leaders today have such an outlook – especially against the backdrop of shocks, caused by various changes that appear to have been adopted without thought about how they will be implemented several months ahead.

“No unification makes sense if we are not led by our hearts” said Czech President Vaclav Havel at the NATO meeting in Prague in 2002, when Bulgaria was invited to join the organization, Valchev recalled, presenting the fourth message of the exhibition. Against the backdrop of a huge red heart above Prague Castle, Havel said that NATO should not be an organization of generals without hearts. This should also remind people in every decision today in the conflict-torn world that a successful alliance is only one that is in the name of life, not sacrificing it, because the highest value is the preservation of human life, he noted.

And the fifth message, which is clearly seen in this exhibition, is about the power of unanimity, said Valchev. “The ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty was adopted by the MPs with 226 votes in favour and only 4 against,” he said. “Such consensus is difficult for Bulgarians to reach today and this makes our common life more difficult, and an exhibition like this reminds us of the success it inevitably brings,” Valchev said.

These five messages of lessons from history, unity, solutions for the future beyond the daily agenda, putting one’s heart into every work and agreement are universal and can bring us all together, regardless of our attitude towards NATO, concluded Valchev.

“Many people at the BTA contributed to the exhibition – Deputy Director General Evgenia Drumeva, Secretary General Yulia Sokolova, Director of Archives Desislava Sevova, Head of Reference Milena Milcheva, graphic designers Alexandra Mihalkova, Simona Koleva and Danail Alexiev, Bogdana Manolova from the Photo and Video Archive, Nikolay Nikolov from the Marketing Department, the translator Nikolay Zabov, the correspondents at home and abroad who are organizing this presentation, but most of all the photographers, reporters and editors who captured history in their time so that we can learn from it in our time,” Valchev said.