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June 28, 2022

City of Pecs – European capital of culture in 2010

Hungary’s city of Pecs, one of the three European capitals of culture in 2010, gave the start to the artistic events of its program on Sunday, a program placed under the sign of Central Europe’s influence and of the openness towards the Balkans. Pecs, the first Hungarian city to receive that title, a title shared this year with Germany’s Essen and Turkey’s Istanbul, expects approximately one million visitors that would attend the approximately 550 artistic events, of which 350 are included in the official program.

Located 200 kilometers from Budapest, not far from the border with Croatia, the city with a population of 170,000, founded by the Romans and dominated by a Mediterranean climate, plans to be a cultural crossroad in Europe.

‘Pecs does not symbolize only the influential Hungarian culture, it also symbolizes the Central European culture,’ city mayor Zsolt Pava stated. ‘It is a multicultural city and it represents a gateway to the Balkans,’ Tamas Szalay, cultural director of Pecs-2010, stated in his turn. In order to draw visitors, the city that benefits from subsidies of EUR 127 M from the European Union and the Hungarian Government, especially in order to develop its infrastructure, stakes on a new center for concerts and congresses and on the Zsolnay neighborhood that has become a cultural center. Most of the events will take place this summer. A ‘Pecs-Istanbul-Essen musical caravan’ scheduled at the end of June, a circus and theater festival scheduled from July 9 to July 25 and a concert given by Goran Bregovic at the end of July stand out among them.

The ‘menu’ also consists of numerous exhibitions, literary events and a Balkan Music Festival in early November.

The ‘European capital of culture’ program was established by the European Union’s Culture Ministers in 1985, with the purpose to create bonds between the people of Europe and to celebrated the cities’ contribution to the development of culture. Until now approximately 40 cities have been capitals of culture.

In 2009 Vilnius held that title alongside Austria’s Linz, while in 2007 the title was shared by Sibiu and Luxembourg. In 2011 this title will be held by Finland’s Turku and Estonia’s Tallin.

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