Prof Christo Pimpirev, leader of the 32nd Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition, Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Argentina, Stoyan Mihaylov, who is accredited to Chile, BTA Director General Kiril Valchev and Flotilla Admiral Boyan Mednikarov, head of the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy, met with Claudio Andres Radonich Jimenez, Mayor of the southernmost Chilean city, Punta Arenas. The expedition members are expected to leave for the Bulgarian Antarctic Base on Friday, the Naval Academy said on its Facebook page.
Punta Arenas is a special place not only for the Bulgarian expeditions, but also for the Antarctic expeditions from all over the world, Ambassador Mihaylov said. He stressed that the city had become even more important for the Bulgarian expeditions after the acquisition of the naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii, the Naval Academy said.
Prof Pimpirev thanked the mayor for the long-standing support of Punta Arenas for the Bulgarian Antarctic expeditions and suggested that the local University of Magallanes and the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia start cooperating. Pimpirev and Radonich noted the contribution of local resident Ines Luna, who has given Bulgarian expeditions the use of her house on their way to Antarctica for over 20 years.
BTA Director General Kiril Valchev asked the mayor to provide information on Antarctic expeditions passing through the city, which BTA will provide to the Bulgarian media. This will make it possible to draw comparisons with the Bulgarian expeditions.
Punta Arenas has a population of 145,000. The city has three regional television stations, seven regional radio stations, two dailies and several Internet sites, the mayor said. He arranged a meeting for Valchev and Mihaylov with Gerardo Pеrez, editor-in-chief of local media group El Pinguino. He promised to send BTA news of Antarctic expeditions from around the world passing through the city, as well as to publish regularly BTA stories on Bulgarian Antarctic expeditions, the Naval Academy said.
Admiral Mednikarov offered to share the experience of the Naval Academy in the possible creation of a naval school in Punta Arenas, stressing that the Academy in the Black Sea city of Varna is ranked second in the world. He said he would propose to the new mayor of Varna, Blagomir Kotsev, to initiate partnership with Punta Arenas.
Jimenez, 50, a lawyer, has been mayor of Punta Arenas since 2016. He is a descendant of Croatian and Scottish immigrants.
During the 32nd Bulgarian expedition to Antarctica, which started on November 8, 2023, the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) is publishing interviews with Antarctic researchers. The Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA’s Log again provides coverage of the voyage of the Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii to Antarctica and back and its stay there, as it did during the 31st expedition between December 27, 2022 and May 2, 2023. Back then, only BTA had a correspondent, Daily News Editor Konstantin Karagyozov, who covered the 127-day expedition with text, video and photos during the entire voyage (including across the Atlantic in both directions) and throughout the stay in Antarctica. In June 2023, BTA published in Bulgarian and in English an issue of its LIK magazine “To Antarctica and Back under the Bulgarian Flag” dedicated to the historic expedition.
Again, all of BTA’s information on the Bulgarian scientific research in Antarctica and the support provided by the Bulgarian naval research vessel, as well as on the other activities at the Bulgarian Antarctic Base, will be available to all media outlets in Bulgarian and in English on BTA’s website in the Bulgaria – Antarctica: BTA’s Log section.
BTA has a National Press Club on board the ship and is planning to open a National Press Club at the Bulgarian Antarctic Base on Livingston Island.