Locals Back Bulgarian Diaspora Minister in St. John Issue

2010-08-30

Local authorities from Bulgarias southern Black Sea coast united in defense of the Minister without Portfolio for Bulgarians Abroad, Bozhidar Dimitorv, regarding the issue with the recently discovered of the relics of St. John the Baptist. The Mayor of the beach town of Sozopol, Panayot Reyzi, the Mayor of the other coastal town of Nesebar, Nikolay Dimitrov, the Nesebar Town Hall Chair, Blagoy Filipov, the Chair of the Town Hall of the St. Vlas resort, Ivan Nikolov, the President of the Managing Board of Property Owners at Bulgarias largest beach resort Sunny Beach, Elena Ivanova, have sent a letter to Dimitrov, voicing strong support for all Bulgarian experts, headed by the latter, in their effort to make Bulgaria a prime international tourist destination. The relics in question were discovered at the end of July on the St. Ivan Island near Sozopol. The Minister was among the first ones to confirm they belong to St. John the Baptist and since then had strongly defended his conviction, rejecting opponents objections the announcement was too rushed and the finds need further testing, and stirring heated debates among historians and archeologists. The authors of the letter declare the debate harmful to the Bulgarian tourism sector and to the State as a whole and point out the worlds top news agencies such as CNN and BBC immediately aired reports about the significant discovery. Interest towards Bulgaria is on the rise. Bulgaria has as many historical sites as Greece and Italy lets give the world an opportunity to see them. We ask all authorities to support the effort, because this is beneficial for Bulgaria, its heritage and its State treasury, the letter reads. Dimitrov announced earlier that local people report the relics were already working miracles.