The collection of the museum of the former French College of St. Augustine, put together in the course of decades by the monks, will be on display at the Art Gallery in Stara Zagora until 20 October, the Bulgarian news agency BTA reports. Most of the works are copper engravings made in the studios of the Сhаlсоgrаfуе dе Lоuvrе over a period of almost 200 years – from the 18th up until the turn of the 20th century.
<p>The French College of St. Augustine was created in Plovdiv by the order of the Assumptionists on 3 January, 1884. The congregation of the Assumptionists was founded in 1850 by father Emanuel d’Alzon /1818-1880/, <span>vicar general of the diocese in Nimes, France and headmaster of Collège de l'Assomption from which the name of the new catholic order was derived. The order was blessed by Pope Pius IX to pursue an educational mission in the Eastern part of Europe, which was part of the Ottoman Empire. </span></p> <p>Before Bulgaria’s liberation, in 1863, a catholic school opened doors in the town – St. Andrew, making Plovdiv the first mission of the Assumptionists. The teachers at the school were monks who had graduated from elite educational establishments in Western Europe – the Sorbonne in Paris, the Gregorian University in Rome. Dozens of prominent figures from the arts and the world of business earned their education there – painter Tsanko Lavrenov, renowned Kapellmeister Georgi Shagunov, leading public figure and émigré Pierre Rouve (Petar Uvaliev). The St. Augustine College was closed down on 1 September, 1948. The monks, who were foreigners, were expelled from the country, and the Bulgarians were sent to the concentration camp at Belene.</p> <br/></span>