The Western city of Timisoara is Romania’s choice for European Capital of Culture 2021, Steve Green, chair of the international jury delegated by the European Commision, told a news conference on Friday at the National Library in Bucharest.
The final selection of the European Capital of Culture 2021 was made from among the bids of Baia Mare, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara, which made their case before the jury on Thursday and Friday.
Romania’s Culture Minister Corina Suteu said that cultural diversity keeps people together, and culture generates a sense of belonging to Europe.
Head of the coordination unit for the Creative Europe programme with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture Karel Bartak said in his turn that this competition, which has become one of the most important cultural events in Europe, opens up a series of opportunities for the countries of the Old Continent come together.
He said the competition in Romania was tense, as the bids of the four competing cities were innovative, with the concept that underpinned all the bids bridging European cultures.
The competition, said Bartak, is based on intercultural dialogue, openness of European cities to the world, with the cultural and creative sectors having managed to survive these trouble times to other economic branches.
Jury head Green congratulated the competitors, saying that the competition has no losers.
This title, he added, is for a lifetime, not just for a year.
After the announcement was made, Timisoara Mayor Nicolae Robu said this victory belongs to a big team, namely the entire city’s community.
He added that the title of European Capital of Culture is a huge responsibility, and the city is aware that the hard part has just begun.
He also said that the budget for preparation before the year 2021 is 48.5 million euros, 20 million of which come from the local budget, 5 million from the Timis County Council and about 1.5 million from the European Commission, with the remaining amount to be contributed from the national budget.
The city’s bid motto was “Light Up the City through Yourself.”