United Bulgarian Bank has opened a UBB Gallery at the address of its former Head Office
25 October 2018
Johan Thijs, Chief Executive Officer of KBC Group, Peter Andronov, Chief Executive Officer of UBB and His Excellency François Bontemps, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Bulgaria, officially opened the UBB Gallery. The artistic space, which, up until a year ago, hosted the UBB Head Office, had been entirely reworked in a way that allows for the organization of various exhibitions and artistic events at 5, Sveta Sofia Str.
“I knew that UBB was a successor of some impressive traditions, not only in the banking sector, but also with regard to the arts. UBB has collected and cared for these paintings for decades and the opening of this space comes as a natural continuation of UBB’s engagement to play an active role in society, with regard to the preservation and promotion of Bulgarian creative work and arts.” Mr. Thijs, CEO of KBC Group, shared during his address to the guests.
Over 30 paintings of well-known artists and antique items comprise the first exhibition, which will be housed in the UBB Gallery. The oldest painting dates back to the beginning of the 20th century - Army Supply Wagons of 1917, by Vasil Marinov. Another painting that stirs interest is that of Hristo Kavarnaliev. The painting actually is a two-sided one (Sea and Marine Landscape) and a special frame with a rack has been made for the exposition purposes, allowing it to be seen from both sides. The exhibition of UBB’s Gold Fund features also other names, such as Anastasia Panayotova, Antoniy Sofev, Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Marko Monev, Konstantin Tringov, Radomir Mandov. Among the exhibited works of art visitors will also find a collection of antique items, such as wall clocks, typewriters. All art pieces and antique items had been prominently placed in the branches of the financial institution across the country, throughout the years. Therein lies the motivation for the public display of the items today - as a continuation of UBB’s support for the Bulgarian culture and arts.
“For 25 years, UBB has been gathering its collection of works of art, which it united in its own fund and a part of them we proudly display for the first time in public in the newly opened UBB Gallery. Today they number 225 works of art, distributed on the basis of expert assessments into three categories - gold, silver and bronze. Our fund is a treasure - for the society at large and for us, as for a quarter of a century UBB has been steadily fulfilling its duty, not only as an institution, but also as a company, responsible for the preservation and storage of the Bulgarian cultural heritage. I can firmly state that our efforts do not end here. We have plans to expand this collection in the future.” Peter Andronov, CEO of UBB commented.
“We open this space here, in the old Head Office of the bank, with the ambition to prevent the building from becoming depopulated, but on the contrary - with a desire to transform this space into a field for artists, who need such gallery hall to express themselves. We are motivated to render UBB Gallery a place for exchange of ideas, inspiration, positivism, encounters with different kinds of art.”, added Mr. Andronov.
With the creation of one artistic space, new for Sofia, its citizens, guests and visitors, UBB solidifies its place as a connoisseur and guardian of Bulgarian culture and art, which it wishes to transform into legacy for its future successors.
UBB Gallery will be open every weekday from 8:00 AM until 07:00 PM and every Saturday from 10:00 AM until 04:00 PM. Entrance is free of charge.