he city of Marseille PACA has been selected to represent France as the European Capital of Culture in 2013. It was chosen on Sept. 16th, 2008, beating out Bordeaux, Toulouse and Lyon, which were also in the running for the title.
The city highlighted its geographic position on the Mediterranean coast that constitutes a cultural crossroads. However, its main asset was its “Workshops of the Euro Mediterranean” project, which is shaped around a dialogue of cultures and the revival of cities through culture.
Each city presented its program to a 13-member jury (composed of six French members and seven representatives of the EU countries) chaired by a British lord.
Marseille will share its distinction with the Slovak city of Kosice in 2013.
Marseille’s program has two focuses:
“InterMed and its InterMed Youth section, a festival of contemporary Euro-Mediterranean creation”
“Via Marseille, a European gathering point of art in public space”
The title of European Capital of Culture is all the more prestigious because it brings with it important economic benefits, notably in the tourism sector, and international influence. For example, Lille, the 2004 European Capital of Culture, attracted 9 million visitors and several major investors.