Marseille named Europe's culture capital for 2013

The ancient Mediterranean sea port of Marseille - today a bustling city of over one million inhabitants - has won the race to become the European Capital of Culture in 2013, beating fellow French rivals Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse.


The French city of Marseille will be the European Capital of Culture in 2013, announced a beaming Jacques Pfister, president of the city’s campaign committee. France’s second-largest city saw off stiff domestic competition from Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse to secure the coveted nomination.


A historic city and major international port, Marseilles successfully showcased its Mediterranean routes, positioning itself as a bridge between Europe and the South.


“Today, the major cultural questions Europe is called on to address are eminently Mediterranean,” explained the campaign’s director Bernard Latarjet, citing immigration, clashes between different cultures and religions, gender relations and natural resources.


Backed by neighbouring towns in the Provence region, Marseille presented an ambitious package featuring 74 artistic projects for a budget of 98 billion euros. The programme includes an eagerly awaited exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the famous writer Albert Camus.

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