Vasil Bojkov

Vasil Bojkov

Vasil Bojkov – Owner of the two biggest football rivals in Bulgaria

It has been officially confirmed. Vasil Bojkov, the famous Bulgarian businessman and biggest promoter of sport in the country, is going to be the new owner of Levski Sofia. While every media was busy discussing just the financial aspect of this matter, we were able to notice something that has never really occurred in the history of football before. Bojkov became the only person in the world of sport who has owned the two biggest football rivals known in Bulgaria – Levski Sofia and CSKA.

One of the richest Bulgarians managed to help the “reds” survive and prosper in the period 1999-2006, but withdrew after not receiving the due recognition from the fans of the football club. It is for a fact that under Bojkov’s ownership and support CSKA managed to score some of their greatest results and
wins over world-leading teams. This includes the elimination of Bayer Leverkusen with two winning games. The Bulgarian team sensationally eliminated Bayer Leverkusen from the UEFA Cup with 1-0, throwing CSKA and their supporters into euphoria at the end of the event. Let us remind that another historic shocker was the match that the reds won against the European champion Liverpool in a

Champions League qualifier back in 2005. Interestingly, even during the time of ownership of the reds, Bojkov remained a great supporter of Levski Sofia. And now, the spotlight is finally on CSKA’s biggest enemy. The football club has been suffering a financial crisis for quite some time now and is currently in an urgent need for a serious stabilization. In a recent interview, Pavel Kolev (Deputy Executive Director of the Bulgarian Football

Union and the new CEO of Levski Sofia) pointed out that the debts of the blue ones are around 32 million leva. The role of the Bulgarian billionaire, however, sets the hopes high as he is expected to help the football club come back to life and achieve financial stabilization, in the first place. Nevertheless, as it seems though, the history of Bojkov and CSKA is not entirely over. Rumors have been trying to link Vasil Bojkov to the CSKA 1948 project for the past years, and just recently, the businessman became an official sponsor of the newly established club, which gets

The Eternal Derby going on a slightly different level. Speaking of it, The Eternal Derby of Bulgarian Football or simply The Eternal Derby is the name of the local derby football match between the two aforementioned most popular and successful football clubs in Bulgaria. They have won 26 (Levski) and 31 (CSKA) national championship titles and 25 (Levski) and 20 (CSKA) Bulgarian Cup titles, respectively. This emotional for the fans and fierce for the teams rivalry started back in the late 1940’s when the newly established club of CSKA became a champion in a much competitive football that took place in 1948. Rivalries in the world of sport can turn a whole game into something never experienced before in the same old way. Stakes are high and emotions are tense for one can hardly know which player or team will win in the end. Surprises are something very common. Expectations are taken to the next level but as it has been proven over the years, no atmosphere can compare to that of a real rivalry in football. We can place the football derbies among the best sports rivalries of all time, that’s for sure. And same goes not only to the biggest international football “enemy” clubs in the world but also to those on a local
level. Like Levski Sofia and CSKA.

Yet, the question now is, is the blue team going to be in a position of a healthy profit from this moment on and will the man, who has owned the greatest rivals in the Bulgarian football, help the blue ones become the winning ones?

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Bethany Cooper, Freelance writer
London, UK
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If you enjoy Game of Thrones, then you’ll love this


Sirens, dragons, treasure and epic battles – the Golden Fleece has it all …

62 stunning treasures have been specially picked from Vassil Bojkov’s extensive collection of over 3000, and they are part of the National Gallery of Arts in Sofia presenting an astounding exhibition named ‘The Golden Fleece. The Quest of the Argonauts’ from the 16th of March to the 10th of June 2018. This exhibition proudly displays various aspects of religion and ritual practices from the Thracians; for 16 of the artefacts, it is the very first time they are able to be seen by the public.

Some of the unseen treasures include a few types of silver kantharos, silver rhytons, a silver kylix and many more. One silver kantharos depicts the golden ram’s sacrifice which transferred Helle and Phrixus to Colchis, which is the centre of the exhibition. Another kantharos beautifully illustrates Theseus, the king and founder of Athens, in Crete which is dated from 440-435 BC. A gorgeous silver rhyton depicting Silenus, who was a satyr and tutor to Dionysus, dates from late 3rd-early 2nd century BC. Finally, the silver kilyx shows Theseus with the Marathonian Bull in astounding detail which is dated from 445-440 BC. These few intriguing examples barely scratch the surface of what’s shown in the exhibition.

If you enjoy Game of Thrones

Delphi, Samothrace, Thracian Kingdoms, Amazon lands, Colchis and Crete- There are few places missed from this famous story of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece. Anyone who goes to see this exhibition will be whisked away into almost tangible worlds from the intricate designs and history of these artefacts. With everything the Golden Fleece represents- fertility, kingship, sacrifice- anybody who knows a lot or a little can’t help but to get lost in the rich story and intriguing history of the myth itself, let alone the amazing treasures that come along with it. The sacrificial representation itself is placed in the centre of this display of timeless artefacts, which magnifies the pure extent to which this mythology has affected people, stories and culture even to this day.

The story of the Golden Fleece itself is intriguing- A man named Jason wants to take the throne back from his uncle Pelias, who stole it from Jason’s father; Pelias tells Jason that for him to give up the throne, Jason will have to retrieve the Golden Fleece from Colchis. He gets a boat named the Argo (made by a person named Argus) and assembles all the heroes and demigods of Ancient Greece, including Heracles who was the strongest of the warriors.

The first island was Lemnos, which was entirely populated by women; unbeknownst to the crew, they had slaughtered all men on that island. Many variations state that all the men but Heracles helped ‘repopulate’ the island before they left. After sailing through the Hellespont, they reach an island named the Diolones where they meet and befriend King Cyzucis. When they leave, a storm directs them back to this island and both sides mistake each other for enemies- nobody realised until the King was dead. His wife kills herself and the Argonauts hold a funeral for them. On the island of Cius, Hylas (the squire and possible lover of Heracles) drowns and Heracles refuses to leave the island, so he has to be left behind. At Bebrysis, the King Amicus challenges Polydeuces to a boxing match and loses. At Bosporus, the prophet and King Phineus- who is blind and punished for oversharing information by harpies eating all the island’s food- tells the Argonauts how to get through the Clashing Rocks after they defeat the harpies. After getting through the Clashing Rocks and going through a few other strange places, the Argonauts rescue people off of a sinking ship. These people turned out to be the sons of Phrixus(who brought the golden ram to Colchis) and the crew finds out that there is a dragon guarding the fleece.

Finally, they arrive in Colchis. They meet King Aetes, who tells Jason he has to complete three tasks in order to get the fleece. Firstly, to till a field using oxen that breathe fire. Secondly, to plant dragon teeth in the soil and defeat the warriors that grow out of it. Thirdly, to defeat the dragon that guards the fleece. The goddess Hera sees this and convinces Eros (Cupid) to make Medea, the daughter or Aeetes and a skilled sorceress, fall in love with Jason. For the first task, Medea gives Jason an ointment that protects him from the oxen fire. For the second task, she tells him that the warriors aren’t very smart, so he throws a rock amidst them and they fight each other to the death. For the third task, Medea gives Jason a sleeping potion which he uses on the dragon.

On the way back, King Aeetes gets angry and tries to follow them, but Medea lures her brother Apsyrtus aboard and, when Aeetes catches up, Jason cuts him up into small pieces, so the King must stop and give Apsyrtus a proper burial. Zeus didn’t like this and sent a storm to blow Argo off course; they had to stop for a sorceress to cleanse Medea of this deed. After making their way past sirens, they encounter Talos and defeat him by pulling a nail from his ankle, which turned out to be his weak spot. The Argonauts return, and Jason takes the throne back from Pelias.

This inspiring exhibition can be easily compared to some of the leading expositions in the world – such as the ones in the Metropolitan Museum, The Hermitage in Moscow or even the Louvre” – says Prof. Atanasios Sideris, archeologist and Head Curator of the Vasil Bojkov Collection.

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Bethany Cooper, Freelance writer
London, UK

Shrouded in mystery – the little known legends of the ancient Thracians

Who are they and what makes them so interesting?

The Thracians are most commonly known for the astounding gold and silver artefacts found in burial sites from around 12th century BC to 6th century AD. Why are they so important, you ask? Not only were they brilliant poets, artists, metalsmiths and musicians, there is practically no written history to be found of them. Because of this, the only remaining fragments of culture and history we can find are these precious treasures excavated from all over Bulgaria and with written records from countries such as Greece.

They were a group of roughly 200 tribes from eastern and south-eastern Europe, and they developed from Proto-Thracians who came from around the Early Bronze Age. Despite being great fighters and valuable soldiers, they couldn’t take over any other countries because of their disjointed political state. The tribes and kingdoms remained relatively separate; there wasn’t any lasting political group until the Odrysian State in 5th century BC.

Surprisingly, they were considered barbaric and primitive to the Greeks because of their open and simple villages- this is likely to be because they avoided city life and because they were such ruthless soldiers. Despite what surrounding cultures may have thought, however, they were still very advanced in almost all creative aspects.

Some historians believe that the Thracians have influenced other cultures more than you might think. Did you know that the Greek god Dionysus may have come from the Thracian god Sabazios? Alternatively, some Thracian treasures appear to have been influenced by Greek styles.

Throughout Bulgaria, over 80 treasures have been excavated. Some gorgeous and intricately detailed objects such as vessels, rhytons, jewellery, weapons and more have been found over multiple burial sites; mostly in graves and sacrificial places. If you get the opportunity to see these precious artefacts, you will understand how amazing and well-crafted they are, even to today’s standards.

Some other interesting facts about the Thracians include how a lot of them were likely to be red heads – this is shown through many inspiring artworks and records from their war-speckled history. This, along with being tall and pale, helped Greeks separate them as slaves from their owners. In fact, the majority of Thracian History involves war of some kind.

Another reason why these artefacts are so amazing is because Thracians appear to have used gold ritually thousands of years before other cultures did. This could partially be because they had access to massive deposits of minerals, gold especially, which gave them the opportunity to develop such skilled metalsmithing techniques. This just proves how hugely important treasures such as this can be; even cultures with a written language couldn’t convey many forms of creative skill without at least some hand-crafted sculptures, weapons etc.

Some past museum exhibitions of these fantastic and awe-inspiring treasures include the National Museum of History, the Panagyurishte Museum and the Natural History Museum plus the Louvre Museum, both of which having had exhibitions containing artefacts from the famous Vasil Bojkov’s collection. The unearthing of this intriguing and mysterious culture only adds to the exhilarating history of Bulgaria.

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