Publicerat 24 oktober, 2014

Matera to be 2019 European Capital of Culture in Italy

The selection panel of independent experts responsible for assessing the Italian cities competing to be European Capital of Culture in 2019 has recommended that Matera should be awarded the title.

Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for culture, stated: ”I congratulate Matera on its successful bid. The competition for the title in Italy was one of the strongest ever, with 21 initial contenders narrowed down to six finalists. This number is a testimony of the immense popularity of this European Union initiative. I am confident that Matera will attract more visitors from Europe and all over the world to discover the city, its history and the cultural diversity which is one of strengths of our continent. I am convinced that the title will bring Matera and its surrounding area significant long-term cultural, economic and social benefits, as we have seen with previous European Capitals of Culture.”

Matera is a provincial capital in southern Italy. The city was allegedly founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC and is well known for its historical center called ”Sassi”, which has often been used by filmmakers. Another famous sight is the Tramontano Castle. Matera lies in a small canyon, which has been eroded in the course of years by a small stream, the Gravina.

The other five Italian cities short-listed after the initial pre-selection round in November 2013 were Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia, Ravenna and Siena. The formal designation of Matera, together with Plovdiv (Bulgaria) the other recommended city for the European Capitals of Culture 2019, is expected to be made by the EU’s Council of Ministers sometime in 2015.

Following Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) 2014, Mons (Belgium) and Plzen (Czech Republic) will be European Capitals of Culture in 2015, Wroclaw (Poland) and Donastia San Sebastián (Spain) in 2016, Aarhus (Denmark) and Paphos (Cyprus) in 2017 and Valletta (Malta) and Leeuwarden (Netherlands) in 2018.

The process for selecting a European Capital of Culture begins with a pre-selection phase after which an initial shortlist of bidding cities is drawn up. The final selection takes place nine months later. The city chosen by the panel is then officially designated by the EU’s Council of Ministers. The panel assessing the cities is made up of 13 independent cultural experts – six appointed by the Member State and seven by the European institutions.

More information:
European Capitals of Culture
Matera 2019

Photo: Idéfix. Creative Commons license: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) / Cropped.

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