Two sad departures – the lovely small Tabak café which occupied the back of the National Gallery building (the old Palace) and spread on to the quiet garden area leading up to the Russian Church was unceremoniously bundled out of its space a few months back. By the Minister of Culture himself apparently – for failure to pay back rent due. I loved the challenge the cafe represented to political correctness – and also the serenity of the garden section with its views of various statues.
Not good for Sofia’s European City of Culture 2019 bid! Although the pavements (the worst of any European capital) are now being repaired!!
Times have been bad for Sofia’s small galleries for the past few years – and still don’t show any sign of looking up. I talk to their owners – one of whom told me that she recoups very little of the 1,000 euros a month which her small space costs her - in rental, facilities and help. It is a labour of love – and I look forward to being amongst the participants of tonight’s event which celebrates her first year. I’ve bought three things from that particular gallery so far – and am pleased that pride of place in the exhibition which marks the first anniversary are aquarelles from a 90 year-old! And it's good to see that the older painters still alive are honoured by several of the smaller galleries.....
Sofia’s atmosphere was nicely captured for me yesterday when I was leaving another gallery (having bought the Kostadinov “lady in red” which heads the last post). A man with a painting under his arm was walking past and paused to let us examine it. “Do you like it?” he asked after he told me it was a Trichkov (a painter I have been trying to buy) and then walked off……..