Memorial plaque – relief of Priest Nikola Belchov
Plovdiv, center, “Knyaz Alexander I” street, next to the Roman Stadium
The memorial plaque – a relief of priest Nikola Belchov is placed on the colonnade of a building next to the Roman Stadium in Plovdiv. It is in the form of an open book, on the pages of which are written the names, dates and facts related to the memorial sign. The relief depicting priest Nikola Belchov is placed independently above it.
The composition has an iconic character – reminiscent of the compositional decisions in orthodox icon painting – in this way, a purposeful connection is achieved between the image of the historical person, in this case a spiritual one, a priest, and his significant work for the benefit of the homeland. The memorial is not of imposing dimensions, but it pays worthy tribute to the hero.
The mystery. Lost and found.
I remember that around 2005, my father asked me to enlarge a rather obscure photo of priest Nikola Belchov, because he had an order. I prepared it to the required size and took it to his atelier in the village of Markovo. Years passed, and one day, by accident, I noticed that the head of Belchov was gone, and there was just an empty hole in the wall. I was very confused and didn’t know how to react – I had no idea who commissioned the relief originally and no feedback about the memorial.
After some time, in a completely different place, on August 11 Street, on an iron door, I saw a photo of the memorial sign – in the form of a poster with a text: “Disappeared without a trace”. I was even more puzzled. And there were no clues to who the author of this improvised poster was. But it was clear that someone was looking for the artwork.
Again, several years passed, and suddenly the head of priest Nikola Belchov appeared in its original place and in its original form. This mystery remains unsolved. One thing for sure – the memorial plaque with the relief of priest Nikola Belchov had disappeared, someone had been looking for it for years, and suddenly it appeared again. The clay model from which the relief was cast is still available in my father’s studio.
See all zoomable photos here: