“Even a century ago Professor Ivan Shishmanov understood that the salvation of European nations is in uniting their efforts to achieve peace and prosperity.” Vice President Margarita Popova made this statement during a lecture in Vienna, where she participated in the opening of the exhibition "Bulgaria in Europe" at the Institute for Slavic Studies at the University of Vienna. Organizers of the event were Bulgarian Embassy in Vienna and the Bulgarian Cultural Institute "Wittgenstein House."
The exhibition "Bulgaria in Europe" is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Prof. Shishmanov and is funded by the National Cultural Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All 25 panels are made by Assos.Prof. Rumiana Koneva from the Institute for Historical Research, who also attended the meeting, and artist Orlin Atanasov. Consultants of the exhibition are the eminent scientists Professor Elizabeth Shohreh from the University of Freiburg, Prof. Svetlozar Eldarov from the Institute for Balkan Studies and Director of the SA-BAS Dr. Ruza Simeonova. So far, the exhibition has been presented at the BAS, the National Assembly, the National Theatre (6 months), at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", in Svishtov and in Burgas. Abroad the exhibition is presented in Jena, Strasbourg, Freiburg and Berlin.
In 2012 the 150th anniversary of the famous Bulgarian scientist - literary historian, ethnologist, cultural activist and politician Professor Ivan D. Shishmanov was celebrated in the Great Hall of the Academy of Sciences under the patronage of Mrs. Margarita Popova, Vice President of the Republic Bulgaria. Consecutive "Shishmanov readings 5 -" Towards Renewal" were organized by the Institute for Literature and the Institute for Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum – BAS.
The meeting with scientists and students from the Institute for Slavic Studies at the University of Vienna, which took place on 20 March 2013, was attended by the Director of the Institute Professor Fyodor Polyakov, by the Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Austria, Mrs. Elena Shekerletova, and by diplomats, teachers, students and Bulgarians, living in Vienna. In her speech, M. Popova noted that Professor Shishmanov came in 1926 in Vienna as a board member of the First Pan-European congress. "Professor Shishmanov joins Bulgaria to this promising historical process, interrupted by World War II. The construction of a united Europe is our elevated common cause today. Shishmanov’s appearance in Bulgarian culture is symbolic and represents the close relationship with the major aspects of European culture," said also Margarita Popova. Professor Lubka Lipcheva, Lecturer in Bulgarian language and literature, presented the project 'Virtual Library - Ivan Shishmanov." The film “Before the Beginning” by Boyko Vassilev and Rumiana Koneva was also presented. Participants in this movie are the outstanding scientists and friends of Bulgaria Professors Elizabeth Shohreh, Heinz Miklas, Peter Bahmayer, Tede Cal, Dietmar Endler (from Austria and Germany) as well as Velizar Sadowsky and Rumiana Koneva. Assos.Prof. R. Koneva is the author of the book "Ivan Shishmanov and United Europe" in which newly discovered facts from the unknown period of Prof. Shishmanov’s life and work in Vienna (1921-1928) are unveiled.
Another representative from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences to accompany Mrs. Margarita Popova at the meeting at the University of Vienna and the opening of the exhibition was Professor Dr. Rumiana Damianova from the Institute for Literature at BAS. She is Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Shishmanov under the patronage of the Vice President and Head of the established 10 years ago interdisciplinary research project with international participation "Ivan D. Shishmanov and modernization of the Bulgarian Social Sciences." In her speech Prof. Damianova exposed the tasks and prospects of the research project, the expectations and the opportunities for collaborating scientists, humanitarians from Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Russia, France, Ukraine, Greece and others, who are actively involved in its work. "Modern Humanities need the ideas of this Bulgarian scientist and European-minded man of the late XIX and early decades of the XX century - said Prof. R. Damianova. - And I expect the project to include also colleagues from the University of Vienna. Because we follow the legacy of Ivan Shishmanov - to work in a union which he announced here in Vienna, in the early 1926 as a "union of hearts and minds."