State policy in the area of the cultural heritage is lead and implemented by the Council of Ministers. The Minister of Culture in relation with the competent state and municipal authorities, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the central managements of other registered religions and the civil society are responsible for the implementation state policy in this area.
The strategic objectives for management and conservation of the cultural heritage shall be included in the National Strategy for the Development of Culture following wide public discussion with the participation of the interested scientific and cultural organizations, non-profit legal entities and registered denominations.A National strategy (called “, is in final stage of preparation with the broad involvement of the non-governmental sector. The protection of cultural heritage and disclosure of its potential as a factor for sustainable development has been defined as a strategic goal. The involvement of local authorities in the protection of cultural properties through improving the management tools, and activation of public-private partnership is of great importance.
The Council of Ministers is responsible for adopting the National Strategy for the Development of Culture; Conservation and Management plans for the immovable cultural properties; providing concessions on immovable cultural properties and establishingstate cultural institutes. Also, the immovablearchaeological cultural properties which are public state property are granted by decree for management without compensation to departments and municipalitiesfor both preservation and presentation of cultural heritage.
The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the central managements of other registered religions can make proposals to the Minister of Culture for registration of the cultural properties that are of significance to them.
The National System for preservation of the cultural heritage includes state and municipal authorities for management and control of the activities related to the preservation of the cultural heritage, the museums, the cultural organizations pursuant to the Law on Protection and Development of Culture as well as the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the central management of other registered religions.
Also, the Minister of Culture takes charge of: making proposals for the registration of cultural properties into the World Heritage List; providing a status and defining regimes for preservation of the immovable cultural properties; issuing permissions for archaeological researches; assigning and adopting Conservation and Management plans of the immovable cultural properties; implementing granting of concessions of immovable cultural properties; giving agreements on: project assignments, development plans and investment projects and exercising the right of state property of the cultural properties.
The Inspectorate for the preservation of the cultural heritage to the Ministry of Culture which supervises the compliance of the requirements of the Cultural Heritage Act.
The National Institute for Immovable Cultural Heritage is a state cultural institute to the Minister of Culture for the preservation of cultural properties. The Institute performs special documentation, prepares evaluations and proposals for providing status and regimes for preservation of the immovable cultural properties; keeps a Public registry of the immovable cultural properties, maintains a National documentation archive fund; prepares pilot projects and others related to the immovable cultural heritage and gives opinions on projects regarding the development plans and the investment projects for the protected territories of the cultural heritage.
The Underwater Archeology Centre is a state cultural institute to the Minister of Culture for the preservation of the underwater archeology heritage. The Center: assists the Minister of Culture in exercising his power in conduction of state policy in preservation of the underwater cultural heritage; coordinates the activities related to the investigation of underwater heritage; maintains a registry of the underwater cultural properties.
At local level, the Mayors of the municipalities implement policies related to the preservation of the cultural heritage in their municipality and establish a public council for preservation of the cultural heritage. Municipal Councils adopt a strategy for preservation of the cultural heritage; grant concessions on immovable municipal cultural properties; create a municipal fund "Culture"; provides funding from the municipal budget for investigation and preservation of the cultural heritage.
The Museums search, study, protect and present the cultural heritage with cognitive, educational and esthetic purposes. The state immovable cultural properties are granted without compensation for management to institutions and municipalities for implementation of preservation and presentation, scientific, cultural, educational and tourist activities performed by archaeological and historical museums based in the respective municipality.
6. Ordinance No.12 from November 21-st, 2012 for the order of identification, declaration, granting of status and defining the category of the immova ble cultural heritage, for the access and circumstances subject to entry into the national register of immovable cultural heritage - http://lex.bg; mc.government.bg
10. Ordinance for creation, content, maintenance, conservation and usage of the National Documentation Archive to the National Institute for Immovable Cultural Heritage and the scientific archives of the museums - http://lex.bg; mc.government.bg
List of international conventions ratified:
1. European Cultural Convention was ratified by Law adopted by the Grand National Assembly on August 14-th, 1991 - mc.government.bg
2. Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe has been ratified by a decision of the Grand National Assembly since January 25-th, 1991.
3. European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (New Edition). (Ratified by Law, adopted by the 36-th National Assembly on April 1-st, 1993 and has been denunciated by the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage since May 6-th, 1969 in the State Gazette, issue 30 from 1993, effective since May 25-th, 1995) - mc.government.bg
4. European Landscape Convention - ratified by Law, adopted by the 39-th National Assembly on October 13-th, 2004 in the State Gazette, issue 94 from 2004, effective for the Republic of Bulgaria since May 1-st, 2005),
5. Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (has been adopted by Ordination by the Bureau of the Council of Ministers since February 4-th 1974, effective since September 17-th, 1975), published in the State Gazette Issue 44 from May 27-th, 2005 - mc.government.bg
6. Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflicthas been ratified by Decree No. 154 of the Presidium of the National Assembly since 26.05.1956.
7. Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage was ratified by Law adopted by the 39-th National Assembly on September 10-th, 2003 - mc.government.bg
8. Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Propertyhas been ratified by Decree No. 1179 of the Presidium of the National Assembly since 30.06.1971 - mc.government.bg.
9. The Convention on Protection of the Cultural Heritage in Case of an Armed Conflict has been ratified by Decree No. 154 of the Presidium of the National Assembly since 26.05.1956.
10. The Framework Convention of the Council of Europe for the Significance of the Cultural Heritage to the Society is signed by Bulgarian party in 27.10.2005.
Note: The links present the legislation / laws and regulations in Bulgarian only. The laws and some ordinances could be found translated into English on the websites of "Siela" and "Apis" that are available after registration fee.