Every year the European Union designates two cities within the Union as its ‘European Capitals of Culture’. One city from the North of Europe, and one from the South. What does it mean to be awarded this title? It means that for the period of one calendar year, the city organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension, to highlight diversity of culture and a sense of belonging within the European community.
Preparing a European Capital of Culture also presents the city with a fantastic opportunity to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits as well as helping to foster urban regeneration, change the city’s image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale.
In 2013, Paphos was announced as one of the winning cities of the European Capitals of Culture 2017 alongside Aarhus in Denmark – the first time that a city in Cyprus has won, and the smallest city to have won, since the event was started back in 1985. Bravo Paphos!
Pafos2017’s moto is “Linking Continents – Bridging Cultures” and all events fall under their three main themes: Myth & Religion, World Travellers and Stages of the Future. Open Air Factory is the main concept for the organisation, which is the concept of utilising a network of sections, units and workshops throughout the district (such as streets, school yards, archaeological sites) where people from all walks of life are invited to ‘create’, celebrating the outdoor living culture here, where we are so fortunate to benefit from such a mild climate – after all, the culture here began under the blue skies in the form of ancient open theatres and open markets!
The vision is to turn the city into a living museum of visual arts. So far there have been theatrical performances, dance performances, creative & group art, and more.