European Capitals of Culture with a big program | tourism up-to-date

An eye-catcher: the castle in Kaunas. Photo: Mimzy/pixabay

The old industrial sites in Belval near Esch-sur-Alzette are staged. Photo: Project Musique et Acier

They are geographically far apart and yet have one thing in common: Novi Sad in Serbia, Kaunas in Lithuania and Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg bear the title “European Capital of Culture 2022”. The three cities are each the second largest in their country and are overshadowed by the capitals Belgrade, Vilnius and Luxembourg. The title “European Capital of Culture” offers them the great opportunity to step into the front row and become better known internationally. In the course of the award, all three cities put together an extensive cultural program.

Novi Sad, Kaunas, Esch-sur-Alzette present themselves

Novi Sad hat sein program placed under the motto “4 New Bridges”, “Four New Bridges”. Esch-sur-Alzette has other municipalities in the region the program “Remix” Developed. It is intended to represent the mix of cultures in the region and show structural change and will open on February 26th. And Kaunas also presents itself and its eventful history various events. Kaunas has planned more than 40 festivals, 60 exhibitions and around 250 art and music events. Highlights include exhibitions by world-renowned artists such as Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, William Kentridge and a theatrical production by Robert Wilson

The fact that there are three Capitals of Culture this year is due to the corona pandemic. In 2020 Galway (Ireland) and Rijeka (Croatia) shared the title, which they also held in 2021 due to the crisis. Timisoara (Romania) and Eleusis (Greece), which were due to be awarded last year, will now only hold the title in 2023.

Chemnitz will hold the title in 2025

Novi Sad from the EU candidate country Serbia should also be honored as a cultural capital in 2021, which has been postponed to this year. The Serbian city now shares the title with Kaunas and Esch-sur-Alzette. Incidentally, there will only be a German European Capital of Culture again in 2025: Chemnitz will then share the title with the Slovenian Nova Gorica.

EU has been recognizing cities since 1985

Since 1985, the European Union has honored a capital of culture every year. According to the Federal Government, the aim is “to make clear the richness, diversity and commonalities of cultural heritage in Europe and to build bridges between the states of Europe”. The cities receive EU funding for this purpose.

Two cities have been selected every year since 2007, and every three years a third city from countries that want to join the EU, such as Novi Sad in Serbia this year.

You can read more about this year’s European Capitals of Culture in the 07-08/2022 issue of ta.

Ute Fiedler

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