Valletta, Leeuwarden all set to become Europe's cultural capitals

The opening celebrations for Valletta as Europe’s cultural capital will take place between January 14 to 20. The official opening will be on January 20.

The programme for Valletta's celebrations aims to encourage artists and audiences to rethink the traditional view of culture.

Due to the country’s specific location as an island-state between Europe and North Africa, the programme also aspires to bring together different points of view from the various shores of the Mediterranean.

More than 140 projects and 400 events are included in the programme, organised around three main themes: “Island Stories”, “Future Baroque” and “Voyages”.

About 1,000 local and international artists, curators, performers, workshop leaders, writers, designers, choirs and film-makers will be involved, and celebrations will continue throughout the year across Malta and Gozo.

Also cultural capital this year is Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. Celebrations will kick off on January 26 and 27, with artistic installations and performances by professional and amateur artists across the city, and museums opening their doors to visitors throughout the Friesland region.

With the concept of open community at the centre of its programme, Leeuwarden aims to strengthen and connect communities from across the Friesland region and Europe, with more than 800 projects involving music, theatre, landscape art, opera, and sport taking place throughout the year.

While the Malta official opening ceremony will be attended by European Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics, that in Leeuwarden will be attended by European Commission first vice-president Frans Timmermans.

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