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Rijeka begins year of European Capital of Culture 2020 with opening ceremony

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By Heather Donald  & Alastair Jamieson with AP
Rijeka begins year of European Capital of Culture 2020 with opening ceremony
Copyright  MTI/EPA/Antonio Bat   -   Antonio Bat
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The historic Croatian costal city of Rijeka marked the start of its year as European Capital of Culture 2020 on Saturday, with a spectacular opening ceremony.

Over 70 events for all ages and interests took place, culminating in a performance called 'Industrial Opera' representing the city's heritage as a port.

Irena Kregar Segota, on the cultural committee for Rijeka European Capital of Culture, said the programme of events is inspired by the city's industrial heritage, migration and the sea.

A workers' city

"They really describe the history and the identity of Rijeka as a city that is surrounded by water, by the sea, that has many sources of fresh water. It's a city that has always been a workers' city, industrial city," she said.

From opera to art, music and photography, the programme has been designed to appeal to both tourists and residents.

Rijeka resident Marijana Boroja Uremovic said: "I am so happy that this has happened to my city where I live and [which] I adore."