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Pilsen and Mons: European Capitals of Culture 2015

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European Capitals of Culture for 2015. Pilsen will officially launch its cultural programme on 17 January and Mons on 24 January, starting a year-long programme of cultural activities which will boost local community involvement and attract participants from near and far.

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Pilsen (Czech Republic)

Under the motto "Open up", Pilsen 2015 will stage over 600 events - plays, concerts, exhibitions, public space happenings and artistic interventions. At the opening festivities on 17-18 January a new piece by contemporary Czech composer Marko Ivanovič will be premiered, and the new bells of the Pilsen cathedral will sound the first time.

Mons (Belgium)

With over 300 events and a thousand cultural and artistic activities, including in unusual public spaces, five new museums, two new concert halls, and new types of civil participation and innovative digital opportunities, Mons 2015 aims to connect art and technology and to be a project for the socio-economic conversion of the city and its surrounding region.  Mons 2015 will be launched on 24-25 January with illumination as the central theme.

European Capitals of Culture 30 years

2015 also marks the 30th anniversary of the European Capitals of Culture initiative, which helps cities holding the title rethink their development and which brings significant cultural, social and economic benefits in terms of vibrancy, regeneration and increased tourism flows (estimated at a 12% increase in one night-visits during the year after the title). Events in both Capital cities and in Brussels will mark the anniversary.