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In addition to a shared alphabet, the two countries also have a decade-long history of collaboration on Arctic research.7 March 2018
A Bulgarian-Mongolian monument celebrating the Cyrillic alphabet was unveiled on 3 March, Bulgaria’s 140th anniversary of its liberation from Ottoman Rule. But the monument is located in an uncanny place: Livingston Island, in western Antarctica, close to where the Bulgarian Arctic base is located, according to The Calvert Journal.
In 2016, Mladen Stanev, who chairs the Bulgaria-Mongolia Friendship Society, said the monument was to contain earth “from Veliko Turnovo, Sofia, Pliska, Preslav, [and] Varna as well as from the grave of [ancient Bulgar ruler] Khan Kubrat in Malaya Pereshchepina” at its base, and have the images of Cyril, Methodius, and Saint Kliment engraved onto the Cyrillic letter letter Ж.
The result was intended as “a monument that will endure; it is stable and made to last. The body is made of ferrochrome and the letters are of brass. Bulgaria is known first and foremost for its alphabet,” Stanev said, according to Radio Bulgaria.
Bulgarian and Mongolian polar researchers have cooperated in Antarctica for over 10 years, often sharing the Livingston Island base. Mongolia also has plans to set up a research laboratory near the Bulgarian facility, BTA writes.
The similarities between the two countries don’t stop here, as Mongolia is one of the few non-Slavic nations that use the Cyrillic alphabet. Former Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev had already unveiled a similar monument in the Mongolian capital in 2015, Radio Bulgaria writes.
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