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Valletta and Leeuwarden to be 2018 European Capitals of Culture

  • 8 months 2 days ago
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From 1 January 2018, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) and Valletta (Malta) will be holding the titles of European Capitals of Culture for one year. Opening celebrations are scheduled for 14 - 20 January in Valletta and for 26 - 27 January in Leeuwarden .

The opening celebrations for Valletta will take place from the 14th  to the 20th of  January across the city, inspired by the traditional Maltese festa (village feast). Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics will attend the official opening ceremony on the 20th of January.

In Leeuwarden, celebrations will kick off on the 26th and 27th of January, with artistic installations and performances by professional and amateur artists across the city and with museums opening their doors to visitors throughout the Friesland region. European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will attend the official opening ceremony on the 27th of January.

What's on?

The programme for Valetta's festa seeks to encourage artists and audiences to rethink the traditional view of culture. Due to Malta’s specific location as an island-state between Europe and North Africa, the programme also aspires to bring together different points of view from the various shores of the Mediterranean. More than 140 projects and 400 events are included in the programme, organised around three main themes: Island Stories, Future Baroque and Voyages. About 1000 local and international artists, curators, performers, workshop leaders, writers, designers, choirs and film-makers will be involved and celebrations will continue throughout the year across the islands of Malta and Gozo. 

With the concept of iepen mienskip (open community) at the centre of its programme, Leeuwarden aims to strengthen and connect communities from across the Friesland region and Europe, with more than 800 projects involving music, theatre, landscape art, opera, and sport taking place throughout the year. An exhibition by Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, an opera about Mata Hari, an event with Frisian horse-breeders, and grassroots projects such as European sports for all are just a few of the many projects that will be contributing to raising awareness and increasing understanding of cultural differences.