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On March 6th in Kunsthistorisches Muzeum (KHM), Vienna (http://www.khm.at/), was the official opening of the exhibition "The First Gold. Ada Tepe: Europe's Oldest Gold Mine". It is part of the “Bronze Age Gold Road Of The Balkans - Ada Tepe Mining: Producers And Consumers” project between the National Archaeological Institute with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (NAIM-BAS) and the The Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology (OREA) – Austrian Academy of Sciences (http://www.orea.oeaw.ac.at/).
The exhibition was opened by the Bulgarian Minister of Culture Mr. Rashko Mladenov, the President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Acad. Yulian Revalski, the President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Prof. Dr. Anton Zeilinger, the Director General of KHM Prof. Dr. Sabine Haag, the Director of NAIM-BAS Assoc. Prof. Lyudmil Vagalinski. The ceremony was attended by more than 700 guests, among them the Former Federal President of the Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer, Metropolitan Antoniy of Western and Central Europe, scientists in the field of archaeology, representatives of ministries, the diplomatic corps and the cultural community.
Later the same evening, in the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Austria, in the presence of H.E. Ivan Sirakov, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Austria and H.E. Roland Hauser, Ambassador of the Republic Austria in Bulgaria, the General Director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Prof. Dr. Sabine Haag and the Director of NAIM-BAS Assoc. Prof. Lyudmil Vagalinski signed an Agreement for an analogical exhibition in Sofia – " Nagyszentmiklós Treasure".
The exhibition "The First Gold. Ada Tepe: Europe's Oldest Gold Mine" presents the development of metalworking during the Bronze Age (second half of 3rd mill. BC – 13th c. BC) and more specifically the crafting of gold and bronze objects and their place in the social and religious life of the people that inhabited the Bulgarian lands. The highlight of the exhibition will be the finds from Ada Tepe gold mine. Among the 333 artefacts are the Valchitran gold treasure, gold jewellery and vessels, bronze tools and weaponry, bronze blocks and molds and a small number of silver jewellery.
The exhibition curators are: from Bulgarian side – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hristo Popov, Deputyd Drector of NAIM-BAS and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Stefan Alexandrov from the Department for Thracian Archaeology (NIAM); from Austrian side – Prof. Dr. Barbara Horejs, Director of OREA and Georg Plattner from KHM.
This initiative was possible thanks to the support of a number of Museums in Bulgaria: The Nacional Museum of History – Sofia, Regional Museum of Archaeology (RMA) – Plovdiv, RMA – Varna, Regional Museum of History (RMH) – Ruse, RMH – Razgrad, RMH – Shumen, RMH – Veliko Tarnovo, RMH – Kardzhali, RMH – Smolyan, RMH – Burgas, Museum of History Svishtov, Museum of Ethnography and Archaeology – Elhovo, Museum of Archaeology “Maritsa-Iztok”, Radnevo.
The exhibition will be on until June 25. In the autumn it will be displayed in the National Museum of Archaeology – Sofia.