The European Ministers of Culture have decided to name two cities 'Cultural Capital of Europe' for the year 2001. Both the Portuguese City of Porto and the Dutch City of Rotterdam will share the title. The theme Rotterdam has chosen is 'Rotterdam, mirror of a new society'. The first city designated "Cultural Capital of Europe" was Athens, Greece in 1986. European cities including Glasgow, Copenhagen and Amsterdam have hosted the event in past years. This year, Stockholm is Europe's Cultural Capital, with approximately 1700 cultural events taking place. For the year 2000 seven cities share the title, whilst in 2001 and 2002 the title is shared by two cities.
The city of Rotterdam, which is the largest port in the world, estimates the cost of organising the events for Cultural Capital of Europe at 50 million Dutch Guilders (aprox. US $24 million).
-- By Maxim Bezembinder
Correspondent The Netherlands/Belgium