Monument to the Nikolapetkovists
Plovdiv, Trakia district, the intersection of “Saedinenie” street and “Knyaz Boris I – Pokrastitel” street, 2001
The monument to the repressed Nikolapetkovists (followers of Nikola Petkov) is a cornerstone in Viktor Todorov’s work. Apart from being a large monumental composition, it is an ideological and philosophical address of the author, known mainly for his achievements during the communist regime.
An initiative committee gathered around the idea, took legal steps for the construction of the monument and received a permit for spotting and implementation in Trakia district, Plovdiv city. The main guarantor and patron is a businessman from Plovdiv, Yordan Gyurov – Charlie. Yordan Gyurov’s father was killed after the September 9 (1944) events as a “goryanin” (from Goryani movement). The project was assigned to Viktor Todorov.
The monument is a composition of two concrete colossuses having the stylized shape of ax blades. The columns have a dark coating, symbolizing obscurity. Below the columns and in the foreground is exposed a human figure in a metal cage, kneeling and holding a bird on his shoulders ready for flight. The figure is white – as if only a drop of hope for freedom and bearing the purity of the ideal remained in it. The contrast of colors in the composition contributes to the strong impact of the monument. The metal cage with a grid in vertical order openly symbolizes violence, prison, lack of exit. All this is on a pedestal of stones, which brings an additional, heavy sense of the character’s doom.
The entire ensemble is installed on a hilly base, which elevates it above the main terrain. All around there are deliberately scattered stones haphazardly placed on the ground, which further adds to the oppressive feeling, creating a lack of orientation and symbolizing the wasted destinies of the repressed. In the foreground, at ground level, several roughly hewn stone blocks with the names of the dead, dates, grantors were installed.
Viktor Todorov commented on the heavy implication of one of his last significant monumental works: “This is a horrible monument, because it is a verdict on all authoritarian regimes.” – Sunday Standard, 30.11.2008, p.16
See all zoomable photos of the monument here: