The Slovenia Times

Culture Capital Organisers Happy with Results


Suzana Žilič Fišer, the head of Maribor 2012, the institute in charge of Maribor's stint as the culture capital, said that a lot had been achieved given the conditions and that the past two years had been very important for Maribor and the region.

She feels that the main goals - encouraging creativity and establishing links on several levels - had been achieved and "expectations even surpassed".

Commenting on the project's problems with financing, she said that all European culture capitals meet with different kinds of problems and resolve them in their own way, with Maribor showing things are also doable without additional infrastructure.

"Maybe we did the impossible in these impossible conditions, in the positive sense. We organised more than 5,000 events, an extremely high number of visitors came. More than 500 institutions participated and a large group of artists became one with this project."

The programme head Mitja Čander meanwhile said that the organisers' ambitions were not affected by Maribor not getting any new infrastructure.

"We believed in the content, in the spirit and in substance. We redefined the notion of culture, tried to strengthen its role in social life," he added, highlighting creativity, solidarity and dialogue as the focus and as important values in these times.

The events in Maribor and other cities which co-hosted the project meanwhile also had a positive effect on tourism, with overnight stays recorded by the Maribor Tourism Association between January and November showing a 20% year-on-year increase.

In November alone overnight stays were up by 92%, with 81% of the figure accounted for by foreign visitors.

The two info points, located in Maribor in Ljubljana, also saw large numbers of visitors, which increased with each months to reach 28,000 by November. Slightly more than half of them were Slovenian.


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