From Realtà Mapei International n° 67 - 3/16/2018
Matera and Plovdiv have been chosen as the 2019 European Capitals of Culture.
Matera overcame competition from Ravenna, Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia and Siena in the final phase of selection and is now getting ready to show off its famous Stones to the entire world, as well as various newly renovated buildings and brand-new paving in the old city centre that has been laid with the help of Mapei products.
PROMOTING INNOVATIVE CULTURAL ENTERPRISES SINCE 1985
After obtaining a total of 7 votes out of 13, Matera (Southern Italy) has been officially announced as the 2019 European Capital of Culture, together with the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, beating off competition from the other five Italian finalists: Ravenna, Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia and Siena.
This title was first awarded in 1985 to promote a better knowledge and understanding of the historical-artistic and cultural heritage of nations belonging to the European Union. The first city to earn this accolade was Athens. Nowadays, two nations from the European Union are jointly selected: this year’s winners were Leeuwarden (Netherlands) and La Valletta (Malta).
The Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Dario Franceschini, stated that “this has been a wonderful experience for the six Italian cities taking part and extremely important for Italy”.
The cultural programme being drawn up for 2019, involving an overall investment of approximately 52 million Euros, is in the hands of the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation. According to its president Aurelia Sole, “we are wasting no time in drawing up the programme and we are the first regional capital to have already come up with 50% of its content one year ahead of schedule. We are working all over the territory on joint-ventures to create a European-scale project. From creative industries to Basilicata University, from associations to institutions, everybody is working hard to be ready for an event we hope will leave a real legacy for Matera and southern Italy”.