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On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Bulgaria and the 140th anniversary of the birth of the Ukrainian sculptor Mikhailo Parashchuk (October 16th, 1878 - December 24th, 1963),

on the 14th of November an exhibition called "The Ukrainian sculptor who transformed Sofia" was held in the Union of the Architects in Bulgaria (UAB). Its very name suggests how great is the merit of this Ukrainian for the present look of our capital, and not only for it. The exhibition was organized by the Ukrainian Embassy in Sofia and UAB and could be seen until November 21st.

The prominent sculptor, a diplomat during the period of the Ukrainian People's Republic (UPR), an activist of the Ukrainian emigrant community in Bulgaria, was born in the village of Varvarynci (Ternipil region, Ukraine). He studied at the art academies in Krakow, Vienna, the Lviv Polytechnic, the private studio of Auguste Rodin in Paris and at the same time at the private Julien Academy. From the end of 1908 to 1911, he taught art at the sculpture in Munich, the private institute of decorative and applied arts.

At the end of the First World War he returned to Ukraine and, at the request of the Government of the UPR he worked in the diplomatic missions of the country in Estonia and Latvia (1918-1920). After the defeat of the UPR by the Bolsheviks, he left for Western Europe. He worked as an expert at the International Red Cross in Switzerland.

In 1921, he arrived in Bulgaria to investigate the issue of the prisoners and internееs. After the International Red Cross mission, Mykhailo Parashchuk remains in the country and lives here for the rest of his life.

Mykhailo Parashchuk left never-fading works: the decorations of the magnificent buildings of the Ivan Vazov National Theater, the Music Theater, the National Library, the Bulgarian National Bank, the Rectorate of the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, the Military Academy, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Ruse-Giurgiu bridge, the French and Hungarian legations, the post office in Varna, the Bourgas District Council, etc.

As a public figure, Parashchuk was repeatedly arrested for his ideological convictions, imprisoned, put in a concentration camp, and during the communist regime in Bulgaria he was expelled from the Union of Bulgarian Artists. However, he did not give up the Ukrainian cause and the rapprochement between the Bulgarian and the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainians in Sofia, Varna, Rousse and Sliven owe to him the organization of the cultural and educational societies "Gromada", the Ukrainian libraries, community centers, amateur choirs, etc. Concerned about a closer rapprochement between the Bulgarian and the Ukrainian people, Mikhailo Parashchuk together with Prof. Ivan Shishmanov established a Ukrainian-Bulgarian Society in Sofia, which included the elite of the progressive metropolitan intelligence - Elisaveta Bagriyana, Pancho Vladigerov, Rayko Aleksiev, Asen Naidenov and others .

Mykhailo Parashchuk was posthumously awarded the Cyril and Methodius 1st Degree order for his merits to the Bulgarian architectural sculpture.

The material was provided by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Bulgaria.

E. Mr. Vitalii Moskalenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Bulgaria, opened the exhibition.