The Canetti House – a forum for alternative culture
The Canetti House was built and used as a business and commercial building by the Canetti family (grandfather and father of Elias Canetti). It was constructed in 1898, planned by the architect Nikos Bedrosyan. The store dealt with wholesale groceries. In his memoires (“The Tongue set Free“) Elias Canetti reconsiders his early childhood memories of the store.
After the Canetti family had left Rousse, a furniture store was situated in the building. Since approximately 1993 the building is vacant.
Prospectively, the International Elias Canetti Society plans to establish an international arts, research and documentation center at the house. In order to help in realising these ambitious plans, the Bulgarian Council of Ministers agreed to leave the building to the use by the IECS. Furthermore, a large donation by a Swiss Foundation was already granted to the International Elias Canetti Society for restoration purposes. Unfortunately, because of unsettled ownership claims the project is put on hold until an agreement is reached.
At the moment the house is used in its unrestored state as an alternative venue for concerts, performances or visual arts events. The International Elias Canetti Society succeeded in establishing it as a popular forum for contemporary art and culture in Rousse and Bulgaria.