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The Earth and Man National Museum
Of the eight million population in 2006 Bulgaria has about two million emigrants. Interestingly, in the Bulgarian language there is a word for this voluntary-compulsory life situation, gurbet, going abroad to make a living. The twentieth century saw three large waves of emigration – during the Great Depression in the 1920s, post World War Two, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall to this day. Most of these people dream to return to their humble Motherland and they do so, whether personally, through donor gestures or their children Such an act incited the founding of the Earth and Man National Museum. In 1985 Ilia Delev from Brazil donated to Bulgaria a fantastic collection of over 700 giant crystals. Two hundred other donors added to the exposition and the state allotted a building from the former military arsenal, a monument of culture of 1898. Upon restoration and adaptation of 4000 sq. m of exhibition area and the arrangement of 18,000 exhibits, on June 19, 1987 Sofia acquired one of the largest mineralogical museums in the world! The “king” exhibit is a 1420 kg piece of native bismuth, as big as a limousine. It is worth seeing!