Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Short-Sighted European Union Draws An Iconic Cultural Iron Curtain Across Its Eastern Border Shutting Out Lviv And Kyiv, Ukraine

"The city of Essen -- once a mining town, now a service industry center in Germany's multicultural Ruhr region -- has been named a European Capital of Culture for the year 2010.

The EU Commission announced on Tuesday that the German city of Essen has won the coveted title "European Capital of Culture" for the year 2010.

"This is a huge day for us," said Essen's mayor Wolfgang Reiniger.

Essen -- an international economic hub in Germany's Ruhr region -- is a multicultural city that transformed itself over time from a mining to a service industry center.

"I am quite certain that we are a Europe in microcosm. And we've made that clear from the very beginning," Reiniger said.

The second largest city in North-Rhine Westphalia, with around 600,000 residents [smaller than Lviv, Ukraine], and the sixth largest city in Germany, Essen competed for the title under the motto "Change through culture -- Culture through change."

When the European Union grew from 15 to 25 states in 2004, the bloc's culture ministers decided that from 2009 two cities would be annually designated European capital of culture -- one from the old member states and one from the new. This year, Germany and Hungary were competing for the title. [In 2009, Vilnius, Lithuania will be an Official European Cultural Capital; in 2010, Pecs, Hungary will be an Official European Cultural Capital; and in 2011, Tallinn, Estonia will be an Official European Cultural Capital. Non-EU member participation, thereafter, ceases.]

While Hungary had already chosen its candidate, the city of Pecz [Pecs], Germany chose two finalists, Essen and Görlitz, from the pool of ten candidates and left it up to the EU to make the final decision.

The eastern German city of Görlitz, which lost the race, had applied together with the neighbouring Polish city of Zgorzelec for a symbolic double-title. The mayor of Görlitz, Joachim Paulick, congratulated Essen on its victory, but stressed that Görlitz could boast a moral victory nonetheless.

"By participating in this competition as a European city Görlitz/Zgorzelec, we have captured worldwide attention," Paulick said." ...

DW-World.de "Essen Named European Capital of Culture for 2010" April 11, 2006


Essen, Germany turned its industrial architecture into museum pieces


The bell tower of Lviv, Ukraine's Armenian church and the general perspective of Old Armenian Street. In the middle ages, this was the centre of the local Armenian community. The tower was built in the middle of the 16th century.The church itself was built in the 13th century and is one of the oldest buildings in the city.

Lviv, Ukraine, founded in 1256, is the unofficial Cultural Capital Of An Undivided Europe 2006. It's UNECSO World Heritage Site center is an architectural museum celebrating Europe's pre-Nazi European multi-culturalism and humanism through its civic and religious architecture.


Lviv History Museum:


Photo credits: (c) City of Essen, Germany and Igor Solovey's Lviv Gallery ukraine.uazone.net/gallery/lviv/ With thanks


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