On 13 January, the second day of her official visit to Bulgaria, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova held a working meeting with the Minister of Culture Vezhdi Rashidov. Their talks focused on the organization of the Bulgarian exposition "The epic of the Thracian kings" at Le Louvre that is due to open on 15 April. The nomination of new sites for inscription on the World Heritage List was also subject of discussion.
On the same day, Irina Bokova delivered a lecture on the legacy of Nelson Mandela in the ceremonial hall of Sofia State University "Kliment Ohridski", at the invitation of H.E. Vanessa Calvert, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Bulgaria and in the presence of members of the diplomatic corps, academia, students and intellectuals.
"Today, more than ever, we need a new type of thinking inspired by the values and ideals of Nelson Mandela. This iconic fighter against apartheid is a symbol of the struggle for justice, freedom and respect for human rights for millions of people the world over", Irina Bokova said.
"It is a great honor for UNESCO that as a Goodwill Ambassador of the Organization, Nelson Mandela upheld so passionately cooperation in the field of education, culture and science, for strengthening tolerance, justice and human dignity", she added.
After the lecture, Irina Bokova met members of the UN Association for Bulgaria, who presented an overview of their work and future projects to promote knowledge of the activity and relevance of the United Nations Organization.
In the evening, the Director-General attended with President Plevneliev the celebration of the centennial anniversary of Bulgarian film. Addressing a room of movie makers and actors, she emphasized that Bulgaria’s longstanding film tradition is an integral part of the national identity of the Bulgarian people. Irina Bokova affirmed the importance of cinema and the creative industries as enablers of sustainable development.