European Capital of Culture

... succeeded the title of European City of Culture in 1999. The idea was originally dreamt up in 1985 by the former actress Melina Mercouri, who was then Greece's Minister of Culture, and her French counterpart Jack Lang.

The first five Cities of Culture were Athens (1985), Florence (1986), Amsterdam (1987), Berlin (1988) and Paris (1989). In 1990 Glasgow became the first UK city to be awarded the honour; the second (with the revised title) was Liverpool in 2008.

Since 2007 there have been two Capitals of Culture each year; in 2008 Liverpool shared the honour with Stavanger (Norway).

The UK is scheduled to have another Capital of Culture in 2023. Candidate cities are Bristol, Dundee, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Truro, although whether any of them will get to take the title is obviously in doubt due to Brexit.

© Haydn Thompson 2017