Plovdiv and Matera Are 2019 European Capitals of Culture
111 CULTURE - EUROPEAN CAPITALS OF CULTURE
Plovdiv and Matera Are
Capitals of Culture
Brussels, January 3 (BTA) - As of January 1, 2019, Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Matera (Italy) will hold the title of European Capital of Culture for one year, said the European Commission.
Wishing Plovdiv and Matera success in the coming year, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: "The programmes for Plovdiv and Matera show how these cities envisage both their own future and that of Europe, whilst celebrating their extraordinary centuries-old heritage. The European Capital of Culture initiative brings people together and highlights the role of culture in building a European identity."
Plovdiv is the first ever Bulgarian city to be chosen as European Capital of Culture. More than 300 projects have been organized in Plovdiv, as well as the South Central Region of Bulgaria, and the cities of Varna, Sofia and Veliko Turnovo, including festivals and community-based projects, structured around themes linked to the characteristic features of Plovdiv, its history, cultural heritage, as well as the challenges facing the city.
From discovering the Cyrillic alphabet through various exhibitions, to joint theatre productions with the Western Balkans and the Roma and Turkish communities, visitors will have an array of activities to participate in. The opening celebrations will take place on January 11-13, with a series of indoor and outdoor events, including a music, light and dance performance on the evening of January 12. Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel will attend the official opening ceremony on January 12.
The programme for Matera has been organized under the motto "Open Future", and will have a special focus on social and cultural inclusion and collaborative innovation. The opening celebrations will take place on January 19-20 and will gather 2,000 musicians from all the villages of the Basilicata region and many other parts of Europe. Commissioner Navracsics will attend the official opening ceremony on January 19.
Holding the title of European Capital of Culture is an excellent opportunity for the cities to change their image, put themselves on the world map, attract more tourists and rethink their development through culture, the European Commission said. The title has a long-term impact, not only on culture but also in social and economic terms, both for the city and the region. LI/DD