The presentation of the City of Rijeka and its cultural programme for next year, when it will hold the title of European Capital of Culture 2020, was held on Tuesday, 22 October, in Ljubljana. As the first Croatian city to hold this coveted title, the ECoC project in Rijeka is based on the motto “Port of Diversity”, which best exemplifies the spirit of Rijeka as an open-minded, tolerant and multicultural city.
The eventful day-long programme that introduced Rijeka to Ljubljana consisted of an array of activities that took place at several locations in downtown Ljubljana. The morning part of the programme at the triple Bridge on Stritar Street began with welcome speeches given by Metka Bradetić, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Representative Office in Slovenia, and Petar Škarpa, Director of the Rijeka Tourist Board.
The musical portion of the programme included performances by Klapa Nevera from Rijeka and the prominent rock musician Boris Štok. Eye-catching promotional films by the Rijeka Tourist Board and Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture were shown to the attendees, while the K2K dance troupe from Rijeka performed a flash mob along with ECoC volunteers.
Lanterna Culture and Arts Society showcased the customs of the Rijeka region with a performance of traditional songs and dances, while one of the most famous traditions in Rijeka, the Rijeka Carnival, was presented to the residents of Ljubljana with a parade that included the carnival groups Siti i pijani, Draške maškare and the Grobnik Bell-Ringers led by the Master, Queen and Morčići.
The presentation of Rijeka’s tourism and culinary offer, the Rijeka Ring and Kvarner, and the photo exhibition of events and attractions in Rijeka took place at Gallusovo Nabrežje.
The highlight of the afternoon part of the presentation was the reception of the delegation from Rijeka with the Mayor of Ljubljana at City Hall, where they signed an agreement on cultural cooperation between the two cities, during which the Lungomare Art exhibition was held in the atrium of City Hall with the aim of informing the visitors about a new culture and tourism route in Kvarner comprising permanent sculptures by European and world-renowned artists. The sculptures will be placed at 10 locations around Kvarner in order to form a new culture and tourism route as part of the European Capital of Culture programme. A public roundtable discussion on the strengthening of cooperation between LGBT communities was held on the ground floor of City Hall.
In addition to the presentation of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture cultural programme at Kino Šiška, the visit of the Rijeka delegation and the presentation of the city in Ljubljana was capped off with a performance by the band Jonathan, which spent several weeks on a successful tour of the USA this spring.
Photo: Stephany Stefan & Rijeka 2020