Marseille, France’s largest port and second-largest city, which features in this month’s C&IT as an attractive events destination, officially becomes a cultural capital from 12 January; while Kosice will kick off its own launch celebrations from 19 January.
Launch events for Marseille-Provence will include a public opening ceremony in Marseille attended by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, the opening of an art exhibition in Aix-en-Provence and a firework display in Arles.
Slovakia’s second-largest city, Kosice – which C&IT recently highlighted as an attractive city for C&I business - will hold various events at locations including its State Theatre and Steel Arena. Kosice 2013 will highlight the city’s identity as gateway between East and West.
Androulla Vassiliou, European commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, said: "The European Capital of Culture has been a fantastic EU success story for more than 25 years. The title is a unique opportunity to boost a city’s cultural vibrancy and long-term development, as well as being hugely important for tourism, job creation and urban regeneration."