European Capital of Culture

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Each year, the European Union (EU) designates a city to be The European Capital of Culture. Throughout the course of the year, the city organizes a series of cultural events with a strong pan-European dimension. This tradition was conceptualized in 1983 when Melina Mercouri, the minister of culture in Greece, argued that culture was not given the same attention as politics and economics and a project for promoting European cultures within the member states should be pursued. The city of Athens became the first European Capital of Culture in 1985. Since its inception 33 years ago, there have been 58 European Capitals of Culture. Check out the map below to see the past Capitals of Culture!

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