Four of the island’s towns are gearing up to take the European cultural spotlight in 2030, with the government pledging to grant €6.5 mln to the finalist, as well as a €1.5 mln bonus.
The Cabinet on Wednesday greenlighted a financial boost for the town to be chosen as the “European Capital of Culture for 2030” which is set to receive a cool €6.5 mln in state aid.
Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Ayia Napa are all jostling to follow in Paphos’ footsteps, which was Europe’s cultural capital for 2017, sharing the title with Denmark’s Aarhus.
The deadline for selection is December 13, 2024.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Dr. Vasiliki Kassianidou, spilled the beans on where the cash will flow.
This sweet €6.5 mln is destined for operational expenses, covering a whopping 60% of the city’s budget for all things event-related, from artsy gatherings, snazzy promotional activities, and the administrative buzz surrounding the grand affair.
The winning culture capital won’t just be just basking in the financial glow of €6.5 mln. It will also pocket a €1.5 mln bonus, courtesy of the “Melina Mercouri” prize.
With towns also eligible for extra funds, EU structural funds might just be the pot of gold for urban development and social harmony projects.
€5 mln for Paphos
Back in the day, Paphos had secured a €5 mln funding from the state, approved in 2011.
Dr. Kassianidou is jazzed about this decision, as the European Capital of Culture is like the rockstar event on the cultural calendar, fostering connections and dialogue between the diverse peoples of Europe.
“The attainment of the title will bring immense benefits, not only to the country, but even more so to the city that secures it. It will provide recognition and visibility, offering prospects for economic growth and progress. Additionally, it serves as a means to showcase our contemporary culture and rich cultural heritage,” she said.
The Cypriot capital of culture for 2030 will be sharing the title with one of five Belgian candidates, namely Brussels, Leuven, Liege, Kortrijk and Ghent.
The two will be joined by a city in a third country, which is a potential candidate for EU accession, according to an earlier statement said.
Shifting gears to the 2024 European Capitals of Culture – cue the applause for Bad Ischl in Austria, Bodo in Norway, and Tartu in Estonia, all sharing the spotlight this year.