The center of European cultural life will be transferred to Vilnius and Linz

On the morning of 1 January the city of Vilnius awoke having become the European Capital of Culture. This title which Lithuania was striving to achieve for more than five years while preparing for the country’s Millennium celebration will belong to Vilnius and Linz (Austria) for the whole year of 2009. This title was transferred to these two cities from the last year’s European Capitals of Culture Liverpool (Great Britain) and Stavanger (Norway).

“After becoming the European Capital of Culture 2009 Vilnius will present the program of cultural events and projects which will be organized and implemented throughout the whole year. This program is exclusively developed for the year of the capital of culture“, said Elona Bajorinienė, the director of the public institution “Vilnius – Europos kultūros sostinė 2009“ (Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009).

The perspective to implement the program “Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009“ was projected in the Resolution of the Government of Lithuania in 2003. In 2004 Lithuania officially applied to the institutions of the European Union (EU) concerning the award of the status of the European Capital of Culture to Vilnius. In November 2005 under the Resolution of the Council of the EU Vilnius and Linz were announced European Capitals of Culture for the year 2009.

Vilnius is the farthest removed to the East EU city ever become the European Capital of Culture. From 1985 till 2009 this title has already been awarded to 37 European cities.

European Capitals of Culture (1985 – 2019):

  • 1985 Athens (GR)
  • 1986 Florence (IT)
  • 1987 Amsterdam (NL)
  • 1988 Berlin (DE)
  • 1989 Paris (FR)
  • 1990 Glasgow (GB)
  • 1991 Dublin (IE)
  • 1992 Madrid (ES)
  • 1993 Antwerp (NL)
  • 1994 Lisbon (PT)
  • 1995 Luxembourg (LU)
  • 1996 Copenhagen (DK)
  • 1997 Salonica (GR)
  • 1998 Stockholm (SE)
  • 1999 Weimar (DE)
  • 2000 exclusively 9 cities selected: Avignon (FR), Bergen (NO), Bologna (IT), Brussels (BE), Cracow (PL), Helsinki (FI), Prague (CZ), Reykjavik (IS) and Santjago de Kompostela (ES)
  • 2001 Rotterdam (NL) and Porto (PT)
  • 2002 Bruges (BE) and Salamanca (ES)
  • 2003 Graz (AT)
  • 2004 Genoa (IT) and Lille (FR)
  • 2005 Cork (IE)
  • 2006 Patras (GR)
  • 2007 Luxembourg (LU) and Sibiu (RO)
  • 2008 Liverpool (GB) and Stavanger (NO)
  • 2009 Linz (AT) and Vilnius (LT)
  • 2010 – Essen (DE), Istanbul (TR), Pécs (HU)
  • 2011 – Turku (FI), Tallinn (EE)
  • 2012 – Guimarгes (PT), Maribor (SI)
  • 2013 – Marseilles (FR), Košice (SK)
  • 2014 – Cities of Sweden (SE) and Latvia (LV)
  • 2015 – Cities of Belgium (BE) and Czech Republic (CZ)
  • 2016 – Cities of Spain (ES) and Poland (PL)
  • 2017 – Cities of Denmark(DK) and Cyprus (CY)
  • 2018 – Cities of the Netherlands (NL) and Malta (MT)
  • 2019 – Cities of Italy (IT) and Bulgaria (BG)





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