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Appraisal of Musical Instruments

by Nadya Sotirova, Director of the Pancho Vladigerov House Museum

This information concerns those of you who would like to have a musical instrument appraised and it is an obligatory procedure before a trip abroad.

The registration procedure and export of movable monuments of culture is governed by Decree of the Minister of Culture № 1 dated January 28, 2005, promulgated in the State Gazette, issue 13 of February 8, 2005, in compliance with the requirements of the Customs Agency. According to the above-quoted decree and the amendments to the Law on Monuments of Culture and Museums, musical instruments are potential monuments of culture. This requires their registration and appraisal, which is regulated by the export regime as well.

The Pancho Vladigerov House Museum at 10, Yakubitsa St., Sofia, is entrusted with organising and conducting this activity.

Documents which are issued to accompany an instrument are as follows:

- Appraisal Certificate with enclosed 2 photographs of the instrument, signed by a commission of three experts in the respective field and sealed with the official seal of the museum.

- Authorisation to take out of the country the instrument provided that it is not a monument of culture.

The following fees are charged: The fee is fixed to BGL 30.00 in the Tariff of State Museums by Decree of the Council of Ministers № 80 dated April 7, 2006.

The owner of a musical instrument shall fill in an application form at the Pancho Vladigerov House Museum, stating that she/he would like to obtain an appraisal and declaring instrument’s origin – whether acquired by purchase, donation, etc. This declaration is entered into the museum registers.

The museum director convenes a committee, to which the owner should present the musical instrument and 2 sets of coloured pictures sized 8 x 12 cm or 9 x 13 cm /front and back side of instrument’s body - for string instruments, the whole body of wind instruments, and a picture of the enlarged brand name and registration number of the instrument).

If the instrument is a piano or another heavy musical instrument, our experts make a preliminary examination at a time convenient for both parties. At a session of the committee, an appraisal form is filled in, including the exact characteristics and description of the instrument, the conclusion of the commission whether the instrument is a monument of culture and how it should be classified according to the law. In case the instrument is not a monument of culture, the appraisal is issued in two identical copies – one copy for its owner and the other one – for the museum register.

To facilitate the procedure and avoid any inconvenience, please submit your application for appraisal in advance and it will be prepared within the time limit stipulated in the decree.