Wrocław Chosen as European Capital of Culture 2016
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On June 21st Wrocław, the capital of Lower Silesia in southern Poland, was chosen as European Capital of Culture 2016 by a panel of Polish and European Union experts. The verdict was announced by the head of the selection commission Manfred Gaulhofer during a press conference held on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at the Old Orangery of the Łazienki Królewskie (the Royal Bathhouse) in the Royal Łazienki Park - with the participation of the Minister of Culture Bogdan Zdrojewski
european capital of culture
Wrocław defeated other competing cities: Gdańsk, Katowice, Lublin and Warsaw.
Upon granting the title of the ECC 2016 emphasised that the decision was reached unanimously. The selection panel consisted of 13 people, seven appointed by EU institutes and six Polish experts.
Eleven cities applied in Poland (Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Gdańsk, Katowice, Łódź, Lublin, Toruń, Poznań, Szczecin, Warsaw and Wrocław) and the shortlisted cities - Gdańsk, Katowice, Lublin, Warsaw and Wrocław, hosted official delegations for the Polish and European experts of the European Commission and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
Upon giving their decision, the experts congratulated the city but stressed that a lot of work still needed to be done which would require strong commitment from public authorities. A group of experts will closely monitor the city as it prepares to execute the goals of European Capital of Culture.
The candidacy for the ECC must be announced with a 9-year advance. Every year two cities are granted the title - one from the EU’s new members and the second one from the old ones. EU picks one of each, although there was an exception in 2010 - the German Essen, Hungarian Pecz and Turkish Istanbul were selected the European Capitals of Culture.
Next to Kraków (2000), Wrocław is the second Polish city in history to be awarded the privilege and the responsibility of promoting Poland abroad.
The title of the ECC means not only prestige but also significant income for the winning city. So far Liverpool is the record benefiter. The city won the title in 2008 and has made an estimated 800 million pounds.
The next opportunity for any Polish city to compete for the title will be in 2028.
Source: press materials, www.mkidn.gov.pl