Legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio will have a monument dedicated to him in the Bulgarian Black-sea coastal town of Kavarna. The statue will be placed in the city's central park, as part of the soon-to-be built "Walk of Rock," a project approved by the City Council four years ago.
According to Radio Bulgaria, the decision to erect the monument was taken by the municipal administration, with the most active proponents being Kavarna Mayor Tzonko Tzonev as well as leading journalists, musicians and singers.
A replica of the monument was displayed during the three-day Kavarna Rock Fest in July and a plaster model of the statue has since been created, marking the final stage of the preparation for its construction.
The actual statue will be 1.5 meters in height (approximately four feet and eleven inches) and will be combined with large stones taken from the sea.
The artists behind the project are sculptors Alexander Petrov and Krasimir Krastev - Lomsky, while the painting is being handled by Ivan Stratiev.
Dio was reportedly one of the very first heavy rock icons to play Kavarna. In fact, he performed in Bulgaria no less than five times and took an active part in the campaign for liberating the Bulgarian nurses held in prison in Libya for eight years.
According to Standart News, the mayor of Kavarna, Tzonko Tzonev, has managed to turn his life-long hobby — rock music — into a successful and profitable project and thus pours funds into the treasury of Kavarna Municipality. Thanks to Tzonev's efforts, some of the greatest rock musicians of all time have come and performed in the small coastal town of Kavarna.
Ronnie James Dio was one of rock's most respected and talented frontmen, renowned for his instantly recognizable vocals, lyrics and stagecraft. On May 16, 2010, Ronnie succumbed to stomach cancer at the age of 67 and the world of hard rock lost one of its greatest talents.
Replica of Ronnie James Dio statue - as displayed during Kavarna Rock Fest in July (photo courtesy of Tangra Mega Rock)
Newly created plaster model of Ronnie James Dio statue (photos courtesy of Tzonko Tzonev's official web site)
Kavarna Mayor Tzonko Tzonev with MANOWAR bassist Joey DeMaio (photo courtesy of Tzonko Tzonev's official web site)
Kavarna Mayor Tzonko Tzonev with legendary vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (photo courtesy of Tzonko Tzonev's official web site)
(Thanks: Svetoslav Georgiev of D.B.M.R. Agency)