After a very tough competition winner was announced by an International Jury at the ceremony in hall “Sredets” in the Ministry of Culture. Plovdiv had a realistic budget, original ideas and projects, as well as very strong artistic program that will contribute to the cultural development of the region. Some of the initiatives are already launched and the jury was impressed by the ideas, the positive response and the fast pace at which they develop.
“We are proud that Plovdiv will be the first Bulgarian city awarded the most prestigious award in the field of culture. Success is due to the team of “Foundation 2019” and all our partners and supporters, who believed in the cause and especially the citizens of the city who stand united behind the candidacy of the city. We are ready to take responsibility to be the cultural capital of Europe and to present Bulgaria with dignity to Europe and to the world in 2019 “,said eng. Ivan Totev, Mayor of Plovdiv.
The concept “Together”, which lies down in Plovdiv initiative brings together people from different generations, ethnicities, faiths, different professions and common vision for the cultural development of the city and the South Central Region of Bulgaria. Due to the strategy, Plovdiv will develop several important public spaces such as the tobacco warehouses with their remarkable architecture, the hills and many others, which will be redefined as areas of culture, sports, recreation and entertainment. The strategy has a separate pillar of projects related to new technologies, ecology and healthy lifestyle.
One of the projects in the city have already begun, such as the development of the district “Kapana” as the first art district in Bulgaria. Other initiatives, already iniciated are the transformation of the cinema “Kosmos” in an area for culture, the international competition for Central Square, investment in cultural heritage, archaeological studies, new sites, large-scale investments in the old town, increasing of the municipal budget for the cultural calendar of the city, the approval of ten years strategy for culture and others. In the historical, cultural and economic plan Plovdiv is a leading factor in the trend for decentralization in Bulgaria. It is on crossroads of ethnic groups that live together in harmony and understanding for centuries. This ancient settlement located between the East and the West, with its incredible Renaissance Old Town, with its Ancient theater, The Roman Stadium, churches and mosques next to each other, is looking towards the future and is aware of the challenges ahead and wants to take the place which deserves in the list of European cultural capitals.
“European Capital of Culture”
The iniciative “European Capital of Culture” is the most prestigious contest in the field of culture in Europe. Its purpose is to contribute towards the bringing together of bridges between the people of Europe. The decision for its implementation was taken in June 1985 by The Council of Ministers of Culture of the European Union on the initiative of the then legendary Minister of Culture of Greece Mrs. Melina Mercouri. In the period after 1985 more than 40 cites were chosen to be “European Capital of Culture” – from Stockholm to Genoa, Athens to Glasgow from Krakow to Porto. Over the years this event was further developed without losing its original intent: to highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures and the features they share, to promote greater mutual acquaintance among the european citizens and nurture a sense of belonging to the same European community.
The prize is awarded to a city for a given year. The event can bring huge benefits for cities in cultural, social and economic terms, within the year itself and beyond. It is an unique opportunity for urban renewal, for a change of their perception and promotion of the cities in Europe and internationally.
The Municipal Foundation “Plovdiv 2019” was established with the aim to prepare the nomination of Plovdiv to contest the European Capital of Culture in 2019. The Foundation contributes to the cohesion of the European people and cultures, bringing together cultural and administrative institutions for joint projects and their relation to European and world to promote the cultural achievements of the city and its historical heritage. It promotes the development of Plovdiv as a modern European city, including urban solutions, development of cultural heritage and of all forms of cultural tourism, promote the cultural achievements of Plovdiv, within the country and abroad, and attracts local community to joint events, including in the implementation during the preparation for application of Plovdiv for the European Capital of Culture in 2019, creation of an overall strategy of cultural policy of the city of Plovdiv.