Boyan Radev Collection
Bulgarian Paintings

2/08/2018 - 13/01/2019

The National Gallery presents 91 paintings from the collection of Boyan Radev. In the halls of the Palace, artists such as George Papazov, Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, David Peretz, Bencho Obreshkov, Eliezer Alshekh, Iliya Petrov, Karl Yordanov, Ivan Nenov, and many others forging the image of Bulgarian art during the 20th century, are exhibited.

Great athletes remain in history with their sporting achievements. In the case of Boyan Radev, they are indisputable: two gold medals at the Olympic Games (Tokyo, 1964; Mexico, 1968) and multiple world champion in Graeco-Roman wrestling. In Bulgarian sports memory, he is a symbol of manliness, courage and mastery. These qualities—purposefulness, will, and the ability to give of himself to the maximum—helped him not only achieve his sporting success but also to create one of the best art collections in Bulgaria. It provokes admiration and jealousy. Why is a wrestler involved in art? Boyan Radev is one of those people who strive to be the best in whatever they do. Best in Bulgaria, best in Europe, best in the world. If there were more art connoisseurs like him, Bulgarian art would be better collected and better preserved.

With this exhibition, Boyan Radev celebrates the 50th anniversary of his second gold medal in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico. A champion in sport, a champion in art.

Suzana Karanfilova