More than 100 artworks, pulled out of cellars and warehouses, will be put on display in the museum that opens next month in a Sofia suburb, showcasing a period of Bulgaria's history when art had to be created in line with strict ideological rules.
Along with the statues and busts of communist leaders, there are oil paintings exalting the supposed "eternal friendship" between Bulgaria and the Soviet Union.
Bulgaria's government recently adopted an ambitious strategy to promote the capital, Sofia, as an attractive cultural and travel destination.
Along with the museum of totalitarian art, the initiative includes a museum of contemporary art and a museum dubbed the Bulgarian Louvre, which is to showcase the best of the country's culture stretching back to antiquity.
"A new generation will emerge, young and pure, which must not be deprived of the history and heritage of its people," said Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov.
He said much of the socialist art goes beyond propaganda. "Many of the objects here have a high art value," said Rashidov, a well-known sculptor and a driver of the project in which the state has invested $2.1 million.
The project had been presented for months as a "Museum of Totalitarian Art." Ahead of its opening, however, workers fashioned stone letters on the main wall spelling out its new name: "Museum of Socialist Art."
The sudden switch has some critics complaining of a whitewash carried out by a Bulgarian political elite with roots in the communist past.
Andrey Kovachev, a Bulgarian European parliamentarian, said, "A feature of the Bulgarian transition is that it was organized by the communist nomenclature itself and controlled by the structures of the former secret services. The history debate was frozen and overshadowed by nostalgia for the repressive dictatorship, driven by its successors."
Asked the reason for the renaming, museum curator Bisera Yosifova spoke of "emotional extremism" in evaluating the past, and argued that the museum contains valuable works by some of the best-known painters and sculptors of the time.
Georgi Lozanov, a media expert, said Bulgaria must have a museum of communism that will tell new generations the story of a period that should never again become reality.