On May 24 - The Day of Bulgarian Education and Culture and the Slavonic Alphabet, an exhibition was opened at the National Gallery/The Palace,

where two of the most iconic items for the Bulgarian history were presented - the sword of Khan Kubrat and his ring bearing the monogram ΧΟΥΒΡΑΤΟΥ ΠΑΤΡΙΚΟΥ. They are stored in the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg. At the initiative of the Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, with the active cooperation of the Minister of Culture Mr. Boil Banov, the objects are displayed in our country during the Hermitage Days in Sofia. Among the many guests at the opening of the exhibition were Deputy Director of the State Hermitage Prof. Georgii Vilinbakhov and his curator Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ilya Akhmedov from the Eastern Europe and Siberia.

The sword and the ring are part of a treasure discovered in 1912 near the village of Malaya Pereshchepina, on the bank of the Vorskla River, in the vicinity of today’s town of Poltava, Ukraine. The entire find consists of about 800 objects, many of which are gold and others silver. In 1984, German archaeologist Prof. Joachim Werner brought about a veritable revolution in science, by announcing it as the property of the Bulgarian ruler, Khan Kubrat.

The Malaya Pereshchepina Treasure is an interesting and complex hoard, which includes groups of objects of varying functionalities, with a distinct and well-founded cultural affiliation. Articles crafted by local ‘barbarian’ masters, as well as the toreutic works made in the Iranian-Persian tradition in the lands of the Sassanids, can be identified here. The most numerous are the precious metal articles produced in the ateliers of Constantinople.

By its nature, it is not homogeneous and cannot be assigned to a close chronological period of time (the earliest finds date back to the first years of the third quarter of the seventh century).

Undoubtedly, the most intriguing set of objects pertains to the personal effects of Khan Kubrat. They are insignia relating to the high rank of their owner: a belt buckle of gold, an iron sword with golden hilt and scabbard, two golden mantle fasteners, and two gold bracelets. The most important artеfact among them is a ring bearing the monogram.

The artefacts from such an important collection, dating back to a time before the establishment of the Bulgarian state, are of exclusively importance for the science of history, but also for the history of art. This is one of the rare cases where it is possible to determine not only the ethnic identity of the owner of the objects, but also for them to be linked to a specific name - that of Khan Kubrat.

The exhibition can be seen until June 30, and there are many interesting accompanying events. On 25 May, the curator of the exhibition, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ilya Akhmedov, delivered a lecture in the Ballroom Hall of the Palace.

On May 29, at the National Gallery Square 500, Maxim Lapshin presented the Laboratory of Scientific Restoration of Easel Painting of the State Hermitage. From May 24th to June 30th, 2019 in the Ballroom Hall of the Palace, the films "Ah, Hermitage!" And "To the Hermitage with Love" are being projected.

The Days of the Hermitage Museum in Sofia were made possible through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The material was provided by the National Gallery.

The photos:

- The sword of Khan Kubrat

- The ring bearing the monogram ΧΟΥΒΡΑΤΟΥ ΠΑΤΡΙΚΟΥ