The Istrian cities of Piran, Izola, Koper and Ankaran have not been chosen to be the Slovenia’s European Capital of Culture in 2025. This decision was announced today, 18 December 2020, by a ten-member International Council of Independent Experts, which this week examined the work of four Slovenian candidates placed in the second round of selection a year ago.
The PI2025 team is proud to have been able to compete in the final round with demanding competition from colleagues from Ljubljana, Nova Gorica and Ptuj. We wholeheartedly congratulate to the winners from Nova Gorica and offer them cooperation.
The path we have travelled in two years has been an invaluable experience, sometimes exhausting and winding, but always connecting and inspiring. Following the initial idea, summarized in the title WAVE OD CHANGE, the bidding team has been supported by 25 members of the Creative Council and municipal administrations of four coastal cities, weaving ties with artists, cultural stakeholders, public institutions, universities, research institutions and cultural producers, and domestic and foreign experts and partners.
We are deeply grateful to everyone for all the support, help and advice, as well as doubts and criticism that were also valuable. There is no progress without confrontations.
At a time when poor environmental management is showing its teeth, the main goal of our project, which set creativity / art as an ambassador of a changed attitude towards nature, proved to be the only possible one. This principle should continue to guide cultural policy in Slovenian Istria.
The main goal of the idea of the European Capital of Culture is to preserve and promote the diversity of cultures in Europe and emphasize their common features, to increase citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural space on the one hand, and to promote the contribution of culture to long-term urban development on the other. However, we will not be able to deliver all the projects without the ECoC title. We will probably not be able to bring in to our places the top artists we have contacted,nor will we be able to work with many cities and institutions across Europe as constructively as we planned.
And yet: all four municipalities have shown that they feel good energy, that they see the meaning in our plans for the period up to 2025 and beyond, and that they understand the need for change. Therefore, we are confident that some good joint plans will not be abandoned. It will be slower and there will be slightly less content, but networking and collaboration remain a meaningful and lasting commitment.
It would be a great pity to stop the creative process, which has started so well. The bidding team that participated in it expects that the preparation of the implementation part of the joint PIKA strategy will continue in spring. We would like it to be adopted by all municipalities in an amended form next year. We also believe that we will continue to weave strong ties with our neighbours and with friendly partners across Europe and beyond. There are more than 500 of them and we are very proud of this achievement.