International Adviser Analyses Riga’s Preparations
“At least in the last ten years, the international jury has very often decided on a city with a real need for the project as a step of development. In that respect Riga is a special case, since the city is rather well known already as the country’s capital, with a high standard of cultural events and infrastructure.”
U.Fuchs emphasizes that Riga can contribute its individual experience to the colourful family of European Capitals of Culture, for example in the music field, which is highly developed in Latvia. “Riga can demonstrate a sort of best practice for other European Capitals of Culture,” says U.Fuchs.
“I think the most important thing for a city nominated as European Capital of Culture is above all to analyse its weaknesses and strengths, and then to define aims and objectives not only for the year itself, but also for the time following,” stresses U.Fuchs.
The international adviser notes that the title of European Capital of Culture is not a prize to win, but a grant that the city pays itself to develop and be in the centre of European society for a year. And this chance does not return for at least 50 years.
“The responsibility for such a project is wide-ranging – not only the team working on the programme, but also political surroundings, cultural actors, the private sector and citizens themselves all share responsibility. If everything hangs together, the city can gain at least 10 years of development. When a project leads to success it can change the cultural identity of the city and make citizens proud of what they have achieved,” says U.Fuchs.