The Hungarian city of Eger will be competing for the European Capital of Culture title in 2023. Vilagjaromagazin.hu writes that the continuously developing chief town of Heves County, which is known for looking after its historical values, joins the line of cities which apply for the honourable title that was established in 1985.
Eger’s Mayor, László Habis, and Zsolt Nyitrai, the city’s parliament representative posted a declaration on Facebook in which they write that Eger is one of the most beautiful cities in Hungary that served as the fastness for the whole of the European culture back then.
“We renewed our city centre in the last few years; we protected outstanding historical values, renovated a row of nice buildings and found a way to develop the bath culture of Eger. We made one of our country’s baroque pearls even more attractive for locals and visitors.”
They emphasized that there will be even more developments as part of the Modern Cities Programme in the near future. These have the potential of making the city outstanding, not only on a national, but also European level. This would mean connecting the city with the freeway, the reconstruction of the castle and the construction of the National Swimming and Water Polo Centre. They added that they believe in further development and success, so, this is why they initiate Eger’s application for the European Capital of Culture title.
It was Melina Mercouri, Greece’s Minister of Culture, who came up with the idea of the European City of Culture in 1983. She explained that the support of art and culture is as important, as the actions in order to boost economy, and that the cultural sector deserves bigger attention.
She believed that her initiation would bring Europeans closer together by highlighting the richness and diversity of European cultures and raising awareness of their common history and values.
The decision about the title was made in 1985 and Athens was chosen as the first European City of Culture in the same year, for the first time. The name was changed to European Capital of Culture in 1999, however, not only capitals but other cities can apply for the title as well.
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