Košice was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2013 on September 9, following a decision by a 13-person international jury under the leadership of chairman Sir Bob Scott.
The European Capital of Culture project helps bring together different European cultures and create an opportunity for all Europeans to get acquainted with them, Culture Minister Marek Maďarič said in a speech following the announcement.
Sir Bob Scott said: "The jury's decision-making was tough. We were still deciding right up to the last minute between Košice and Prešov, with the majority tilting eventually in favour of Košice. The commission recommended that both cities should work together on projects they spoke of in their submitted projects."
There were nine Slovak cities competing for the title, including Banská Bystrica, Bratislava, Dolný Kubín (Žilina region), Trenčín, Trnava, Košice, Prešov, Martin (Žilina region) and Nitra, with the last four making the second round.
"The number of European visitors to the city is expected to rise in the year it is Europe's Capital of Culture. The city will be put onto the list of cultural and travel agencies, boosting local tourism This is how Košice can reach the level of famous towns and regions that are already well established in our European hearts and minds," said Košice Mayor František Knapík.
Some recent European Capitals of Culture include Glasgow (Scotland), Antwerp (Belgium), Thessalonika (Greece), Graz (Austria), Cork (Ireland) and Porto (Portugal). This year, Liverpool (England) and the Stavanger region (Norway) share the honour, and Košice will share the honour in 2013 with an as-yet undisclosed French city or region. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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