April 11, 2006

HOW COULD THEY HAVE POSSIBLY IGNORED MURMANSK?

Turkey celebrates EU culture boost (Oana Lungescu , BBC News, April 11th, 2006)

The Turkish city of Istanbul has beaten the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, for the third nomination as European capital of culture for 2010.

The other two chosen capitals are regional centres in EU countries - Pecs, in south-eastern Hungary and Essen in Germany's industrialised Ruhr Valley.

Even we might have chosen Paris for this one. But then, what the hyper-cultured Euros mean by culture these days is perhaps a little beyond the ken of us rude and unsophisticated North Americans, as one of America’s more elegant cultural commentators reported about a year ago.

Posted by Peter Burnet at April 11, 2006 7:37 PM
Comments

Once again, my two favorite blogs collide, providing me with a most super fantastic start to my day! Thanks!

Posted by: Buttercup at April 12, 2006 6:46 AM

Well, Constantinople is indeed one of the most culturally significant cities in the world. How clever of those subtle Euros!

Posted by: b at April 12, 2006 11:28 AM

The "capital of culture" title is given to one or more European cities each year. It's not meant to be an objective assessment of anything, it's just a way to boost tourism in those cities. Most European capitals and other significant cities have been capitals of culture in the past.

In any case, the selection of Istanbul as a capital of culture is defensible regardless of criteria.

As for the Eurovision Song Contest jibe, how could one not like the contest? It's the campiest thing in existence! It started out during the Cold War as some kind of celebration of Free Europe (the Eastern Bloc set up the Intervision Song Contest as a response) and in addition to producing many uncommonly bland songs, it has, due to its longevity, became something of a European institution.

Americans are going to have a Eurovision Song Contest of their own: "In 2006 the format of the Eurovision Song Contest was sold to an American Broadcaster in order to compete with American Idol in the ratings. The member countries of the EBU will be replaced by the different States and territories of the United States." (Wikipedia)

Posted by: Mörkö at April 12, 2006 4:36 PM
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