Rijeka is the European Capital of Culture 2020

During the Croatian EU Presidency, Rijeka, as the largest Croatian port, will become the centre of the culture and arts programme and the host city for the best and most interesting artists from the global, Croatian and European cultural scenes. Because this year… Rijeka is, along with Galway, European Capital of Culture 2020. 

Nestled between the Mediterranean, Central European and Eastern European influences, Rijeka has been developing in as many as seven different countries over the past century. A small-scale Europe of sorts, it has become a place for dynamic life, a symbol of the libertarian spirit and progressive ideas and a city where everyone, everybody else and anyone different is welcome. 

The cultural programme in 2020 introduces Croatia and Rijeka to Europe, while at the same time placing current European cultural and social issues at the forefront. The three main programme themes were chosen as symbols of the intertwining identities of Rijeka and contemporary Europe: water, work and migration.

The aforementioned themes appear in the programme in a variety of ways – exhibits, shows, operas, conferences, concerts, festivals, visits by international and Croatian artists, projects undertaken by local associations, the renovation of spaces and the installation of sculptures, book promotions and meet-and-greets with the citizens of Rijeka, the region, Croatia and Europe.

At the former Rikard Benčić factory on Krešimirova Street in Rijeka, four industrial heritage buildings are being renovated and will be repurposed into cultural buildings that will house: the City Museum of Rijeka, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rijeka, the Rijeka City Library and the Children’s House dedicated to the development of creativity in children. Also being renovated is Tito’s former yacht “Galeb” (“Seagull”) from the period of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement. It will be turned into a museum ship and a cultural and tourist attraction in Rijeka. Rijeka has received non-refundable funds from the EU for these renovations and all the buildings and structures will be completed and opened during 2020 and partly in 2021.

But that’s not all. The physical area of the city is also being renovated as part of the culture and arts programme, with construction and art interventions in Rijeka and the surrounding area.

The entire programme is available at www.rijeka2020.eu

Photos: copyright by Rijeka 2020 – EPK – Borko Vukosav