Wednesday, 15 February 2012 9:50 AM
The Slovenian city of Maribor has celebrated becoming the European Capital of Culture for 2012 with a huge ceremony - which was viewed by over 10,000 spectators.
This weekend marked the beginning of Maribor’s time as a Capital of Culture, and celebrations included a laser show and a boy travelling with a light throughout the townships of Slovenia. The final festivity concluded on the 15th January – a premiere of the new opera ‘Black Masks’ at the Slovene National Theatre.
Many cultural events are planned to take place across four different programmes throughout the year ; Terminal 12, Town Keys, Urban Furrows, and Lifetouch. Highlights include a dramatic staging of War and Peace, a ‘street comics’ event to bring comedy to deserted buildings, a regional book fair and an exhibition about the way Germans have shaped Slovenia.
Other smaller events are also taking place – from art exhibitions, to film screenings, liver theatre, music and literature events.
In January TripAdvisor reported that Maribor was being searched for 547 per cent more than last year on the travel website, suggesting that Slovenia was gaining more tourist interest under the ‘Capital of Culture’ title.
Emma Shaw, the TripAdvisor spokesperson, commented: “This is very encouraging news for Slovenia’s tourism industry. Eastern and Central Europe’spopularity has risen steadily over recent years, and Maribor looks set to be the region’s next big destination.”
European ‘Capital of Culture’ destinations are cities designated by the European Union for a period of one year. In this year a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension take place in the chosen cities. This year Maribor is sharing the title with Guimares in Portugal.
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