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European city of culture: Ostrava, Plzeň or Hradec Králové?

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Three Czech cities are competing for the title of main city of culture 2015. Ostrava, Plzeň and Hradec Králové have a unique opportunity to attract interest and EU money for development.

“We are launching preparatory actions. Right now we are mainly approaching our citizens. We will definitely submit an application and must succeed,” city hall spokesman Václav Svoboda told Aktuálně.cz.The situation is similar in Belgium, the second state in the EU that will also get to have a city of culture in 2015.

The EU is accepting applications until the end of October. The committee, composed of EU representatives, will decide in December what cities go to the next round.

Hot candidates in the Czech Republic right now are Ostrava and Plzeň. Hradec Králové is left out. Not much has been heard about its activities.

Ostrava has a song for the 2015 European city of culture by Jaromír Nohavica, called “Ostravo”.

Plzeň has a song by Dan Bárta, who lived in the city for several years. It is called “The Sky above Plzeň”.

European main city of culture:

  • Idea: To bring European countries together.
  • History: The council of commissioners has been selecting a city of culture since 1985.
  • Development: The title European city of culture was created in 1999. The first was the German city Weimar.
  • Other changes: Since 2007, two cities from two EU countries have always held the title.
  • Prague was the city of culture in 2000
  • The near future: For 2015, the commission selected the Czech Republic and Belgium. In 2013, the cities will be Slovakia’s Košice and the French Marseille.
  • Right now: The current cities of European culture are the Austrian Linz, and Lithuania’s Vilnius.
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