Saturday, September 26, 2009

Comments on Vilnius Capital of Culture 2009

It seems that Riga has been nominated as one of the European capitals of culture 2014.

The Vilnius Capital of Culture appears to have been nothing short of a disaster (partly because of the economic crisis, but also, at least as far as I can tell, due to the appalling response of the government to the economic crisis - it singlehandedly deepened it even more in Lithuania; but I am not an economist).

A comment in the article points out:

panel chair Sir Robert Scott, who headed Liverpool’s successful bid to
become the 2008 EU culture capital, told DPA that he hoped the funding
cuts experienced by this year’s title holder Vilnius would not be
repeated in Riga.

“Vilnius was not a happy example. The possibility of capital cities becoming capitals of culture and then not doing their work was something that haunted our discussions, but Riga’s presentation was very impressive, so we are giving Riga a real opportunity,” Scott said.'

What a devastating critique! It did also not help that Vilnius lost its charismatic mayor between the time of the bid and the event; his successors have been ....unimpressive, to say the least.