The Slovenia Times

Culture Capital Project Inaugurated


"We are witness tonight to a moment with which Maribor is entering a new phase in its development," President Danilo Türk, a native of Maribor, said in his keynote address to a crowd of several thousand gathered in the central Maribor square.

Türk pointed to the importance of culture in dealing with the effects of the crisis in Europe. Culture will provide answers to some of the burning question of our time, he said.

The president quoted Slovenian writer Louis Adamič (1898-1951) in saying that culture was the strongest industry of the Slovenian nation. "That was true in the past and that is true today and it will be true in the future, because our development is not only dependent on material wealth but foremost on the development of our culture."

In her address the European Commission for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassilou congratulated Maribor and the partner cities on their hard work and said the moment had come for the cities "to enrich our lives with the fruits of their labour".

The ceremony in Leon Štukelj Square was also addressed by Maribor Mayor Franc Kangler and Suzana Žilić Fišer, director of the Maribor 2012 institute, which is overseeing the project. Žilić Fišer emphasised the connecting role of the project, which in her eyes surpasses the traditional meaning of culture.

The cultural programme saw performances by rock star Tomi Meglič, Slovenia's 2011 Eurovision representative Maja Keuc and mezzo-soprano Sabina Cvilak as well as a cast of theatre stars.

Several thousand events are scheduled to take place in Maribor and the partner cities over the next 350 days as part of the project.


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