On March 29th, it was officially announced during a press conference held at the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania - it was broadcast live to the Town Hall Square in Kaunas - that the European Commission recommends Kaunas as the European Capital of Culture in 2022.
The commission came to the conclusion after reviewing of the final applications of Kaunas and Klaipėda, the harbour city in Lithuania, and visiting the two cities just a couple of days before the big decision.
Photo by the #Kaunas2022 team
The preparations for the year 2022 in Kaunas have of course already started in the form of preparing the application. The main topic of the application is ‘(Con)temporary capital’, as it’s finally time for Kaunas to step out of the destiny of being the temporary capital for 20 years in the last century, when Vilnius was under Polish rule. We’ll get back to you with more specific details of the application soon. Time to celebrate now!
People at the town hall square were very happy to hear the news! Photo by A. Marozovas
By 2019 60 cities would have held the title of European Capital of Culture. It is often called the flagship cultural initiative of the European Union. The ECOC action has evolved considerably since the early years when it was primarily a celebration of the arts in a city. Since the 1980s there has been a major growth in the awareness of the role of culture in the life of cities: its contribution to citizens' well-being and to the prosperity of a city. Many of the cities which have held the title had not only a successful year but have benefitted from a lasting legacy. In 2022, Kaunas will share the title with Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg. In 2017, the European Capitals of Culture are Paphos in Cyprus and Aarhus in Denmark.