Tallinn, Estonia & Turku, Finland
Each year the European Union designates a city for a period of one year to be the European Capital of Culture. This title requires the city to organise a series of cultural events that represent strong European tradition.
It is a great opportunity for the designated city to generate cultural, social and economic benefits. It can also help change the ctiy's image and raise awareness for the country on an international scale.
The idea originated in 1985, from former actress Melina Mercouri, then the Minister of Culture in Greece, and her French counterpart Jack Lang.
The idea was to bring Europeans closer together by rasing awareness of their commen history and way of life. The assigned city is to highlight the diversity and richness of European culture.
The Council of Ministers of the European Union fomally assignes the title of European Capital of Culture; more than 40 cities have been designated so far. This Year, Turku, the oldest city in Finland, and Tallin, the capital and largest city in Estonia are the European Capitals of Culture.
Turku has already kicked off the annual event with numerous concerts along the river Aura and extravagant firework displays.
The festivities also celebrate the darker side of Turku through their art exhibits such as â€œDeath and its Many Facesâ€.
Tallin will also be hosting multiple art and science exhibits as well as music festivals and events throughout the city throughout the year.