Pilsen 2015 opens up

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This weekend the Czech city of Pilsen launched its programme as the European Capital of Culture 2015 with Pilsen citizens at the heart of the event.

The opening gathered over 25 000 people who could enjoy the one hour "Symphony of Bells" programme - a mixture of sound, light, film and artistic performance.

The event culminated in the first sounding of the bells of the Pilsen Cathedral, accompanied by the bells of eleven former capitals of culture, seven Czech cities and other European cities. Two fires and two wars destroyed the bells of St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral during its history. The group of bells now installed in the tower is the fifth in the series.

The opening programme continued with music performance of several well-known artists and bands originating from Pilsen.

Economic importance of cultural creation

The official part of the opening took place in the impressive building of the new Pilsen theatre. The Czech EU Commissioner Vĕra Jourová spoke about the importance of culture for the development of human being and societies, for the societal fabric of Europe. Ms Jourová mentioned the EU's role of safeguarding cultural diversity as well as of the economic importance of cultural creation.

The Czech prime minister, president of the Senate, the Culture minister, the mayor of Pilsen and the president of the Pilsen regional government also took the floor, stressing the European dimension of the Capital as well as the importance of the title for the development of the city and the region.

Ode to Joy

The public then participated in an improvised concert using plastic tubes with different tones and produced an astonishingly good performance of Beethoven's Ode to Joy, which created a joyful and festive atmosphere.

Opening in Mons 24 January

Over the year Pilsen will offer unique exhibitions, original theatre performances, multi-genre festival "9 weeks of Baroque", New Cirque Season and many other events and projects. Find out more about the programme on the Pilsen2015 website.

Pilsen shares the European Capital of Culture title with Mons. The Belgian city will launch its program on 24 January.

Photos: Pilsen 2015


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