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European culture capitals offered extensions

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European culture capitals offered extensions

Rijeka - Image by RijekaPhotos

(BRUSSELS) - Croatian city Rijeka and Galway in Ireland could extend their year as 2020 European Capitals of Culture until 30 April 2021, because of the effects of the coronavirus crisis, the Commission announced Tuesday.

Both cities have been severely hit by the pandemic, and have been impeded from implementing their European Capital of Culture initiatives. The EU executive is also proposing to postpone the year in which Novi Sad (Serbia) is due to host a European Capital of Culture from 2021 to 2022 and the year in which Timisoara (Romania) and Elefsina (Greece) will hold the title from 2021 to 2023.

"Rijeka and Galway deserve a fair chance to bounce back and showcase their resilience and creativity," said EC vice-president for Promoting our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas: "Opening hearts and minds, welcoming diverse audiences and artists has always been the lifeblood of the European Capitals of Culture."

She added that she was confident that "for Novi Sad, Timisoara and Elefsina, additional time will allow weathering the current downturn in the cultural and tourism sectors and mobilising relevant investment."

"Culture has been badly hit by the pandemic and European Capitals of Culture are no exception," said Culture Commissioner Mariya Gabriel: "Despite the energy, enthusiasm and professionalism of their teams and partners, Rijeka and Galway were unable to roll out their 2020 European Capital of Culture programmes as planned."

She said she hoped that both cities "will make the most of the possibility offered to them to prolong their special year. I am sure that Timisoara, Elefsina and Novi Sad, the European Capitals of Culture next in line, will benefit from extra time to prepare their ambitious programmes."

The Commission's proposal now passes to the European Parliament and the Council for consideration and final adoption.

European Capitals of Culture

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