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European capitals of culture 2020: Galway and Rijeka prepare for a year of festivities

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European capitals of culture 2020: Galway and Rijeka prepare for a year of festivities
Copyright  Galway (L) and Rijeka (R), Pixabay
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Two European cities will share the spotlight as 2020's capitals of culture.

Galway, Ireland and Rijeka, Croatia will host cultural events as part of a decades-old European Union tradition to celebrate the bloc's cultural diversity.

Galway, a small city of almost 80,000 on Ireland's west coast will host festivals, exhibits, concerts and workshops throughout the year relating to the Irish language, landscape and migration.

The events are by artists from Galway in addition to European artists who will "unveil their own interpretations of these themes," the city's 2020 programme website states.

With a population of over 100,000, the Croatian city of Rijeka boasts a large port on a bay in the Adriatic Sea.

The city's programme includes several exhibitions including on the city's redrawn borders and the social changes in Eastern Europe in the 1990s.

Both Galway and Rijeka planned the events and competed with several other cities in their respective countries to be designated capitals of culture.

It's the first capital of culture in Croatia as the country joined the EU in 2013.

The European capitals of culture initiative was first launched in 1984 by then Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri.

The EU states that the initiative is a good way to generate interest in cities and raise their international profiles.

The capitals of culture in 2019 were Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Matera, Italy.

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