January 18, 2010

Istanbul Celebrates European Capital of Culture 2010

Associated Press
January 15, 2010

Istanbul, the only city in the world to lie on two continents, is officially ringing in its status as a 2010 European Capital of Culture.

Saturday's opening ceremony, called "The Magic of Istanbul," features artwork depicting the beauty of the city of 15 million and its mix of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman cultures. It is also celebrating with fireworks throughout the city.

Pecs, Hungary and Essen, Germany have also been crowned European Capitals of Culture for 2010. Essen celebrated on Jan. 9 and Pecs on Jan. 10.

Athens was the first city to receive the "European Capital of Culture" title in 1985.

The title marks cities that "contribute to the values of the European culture." Turkey is a candidate to join the European Union.

See also here and here.