CULTURE: YEARLY CALENDARS READY IN RIGA AND UMEA, EUROPEAN CAPITALS 2014

(Sir Europe – Brussels) – "The European Capitals of Culture have been a success for nearly thirty years. Such honour provides the awarded cities with a unique chance to give a new lease of life to their cultural life and long-term development. This is also an opportunity for tourism, job creation and urban renewal". The European commissioner for culture, Androulla Vassiliou, sent her greetings to Riga (Latvia) and Umea (Sweden), the two European Capitals of Culture 2014. The Latvian capital will open its celebrations on 17th January; the Swedish city will follow on 31st January. In either case, the calendars for the next 12 months will include multiple forms of expression, from music to literature, from sculpture to cinema; concerts, conferences and festivals will be aplenty. Pageants (the First World War, the regained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union …), the promotion of urban places, theatres and cafés, elements of the landscape and climate (the rivers, the snow, the night…), will be equally important. As usual, those aspects that make culture a medium of European integration by promoting the cultural diversity of the continent will be given pride of place. Special initiatives will be organised for young people. Dedicated websites are accessible at www.europa.eu.” “

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