Culture programme in Sigulda officially opened

Culture programme in Sigulda officially opened
Mārtiņš Otto, Rīga 2014
On 19 January, the official “Sigulda 2014” programme opening took place, as Sigulda is the official European Capital of Culture partner city. Despite the harsh frost, residents and visitors of Sigulda, who had arrived on the special festive culture train, were able to enjoy the speeches of high profile guests, the hot-air balloon “Riga” of Gunārs Dukšte, performances by Kaspars Tobis and Artis Dzērve, “Viktora pasts” (Victor’s post), the impressive 4D “Visuma laboratorija” (Laboratoryof the Universe) at the Sigulda Castle ruins, as well as many other activities.

European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth, Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, said that she is truly happy to be in Sigulda, as she has come to love this wonderful city. “As I told the city’s mayor, I will most definitely return here to enjoy my holidays,” she added and wished that everyone enjoys every moment of this year of culture.

Minister for Culture Dace Melbārde also gave a speech: “Culture is our treasure and the reason we open our programme today, called “European Capital of Culture”. Sigulda also can feel like the European Capital of Culture during these days, as bird-cherries blossom in this city and not only in Spring – symbolically, the trees also blossom in your culture. Culture is the heart of Europe, its soul. The heart is alive and beating only if people create and enjoy culture. It lives within and among us, crosses boarders and joins our hearts. Be proud of these heartbeats that become in Sigulda, showing Europe and ourselves cultural treasures, heritage and contemporary culture that is created here, in Sigulda.”

“We are a nation that is rich with culture and Europe most definitely needs us!” stressed the Mayor of Sigulda Uģis Mitrevics, while Head of the foundation “Rīga 2014” Diāna Čivle said that Riga is proud to have Sigulda as its partner city. “I think we are ready to start celebrating, therefore – let’s begin!” wished D. Čivle.

After the ceremonious speeches, visitors walked and drove along Raina Street, where the installations of artist Agnese Melnbārde, called “Ieziemots!* Siguldā” (Sheltered!* in Sigulda) were displayed, to the castle ruins, where “Visuma laboratorija” and the 4D show begun. Fire drums, opera singers and even a duel between knights gave a glance into what Sigulda has to offer this year. After viewing the large format installations “Billevesees” of the French creative company “Picto facto”, supported by the L'Institut français de Lettonie (French Institute in Latvia) visitors concluded that the cultural explosion has begun.

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