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Three Czech Cities To Compete For The European Capitol Of Culture Title

City Hall building in Plzeň
City Hall building in Plzeň

Three Czech cities - Ostrava, Plzeň and Hradec Králové – intend to compete for the honorable title of the European Capitol of Culture 2015. The main aim of the European Capital of Culture program according to the European Commission official website is to demonstrate “Europe's cultural richness and diversity, and all the ties which link us together as Europeans”. The City of Culture status opens great possibilities for the winner cities – both in economic and cultural aspects.

This year applications are being accepted until the end of October. Then the judging committee consisting of European Union representatives will make a decision what cities to compete in the next round of the contest. To be applicable for the European Capital of Culture competition a city should design a cultural program that “must reflect the European character of the event and involve the participation of the people who live there”.

The European Capital of Culture program was first held in 1985 at the suggestion of the Greek actress, singer and social activist Melina Mercouri who wished to encourage people’s interest in their national culture and traditions and stimulate exchange of ideas between European countries. The first Capitol of Culture was Athens, Greece.

The program proved to be one of the most successful pan-European projects and has been held annually since then. Starting from 2007 two cities simultaneously held the title. The current European Capitol of Culture title is divided between Austrian city Linz and Lithuanian capitol Vilnius. The Czech capitol city of Prague was nominated City of Culture in 2000. Now some of the three above mentioned Czech cities has a chance to win this honorable title for its country again.

Photo: City Hall building in Plzeň, by Olavfin (wikimedia.org)

Date: 30/09/2009

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