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Marseille - A capital by the sea

Marseille - A capital by the sea

25 Jun 2013 BY Tim Wells 1

In 1985 the Greek Minister of Culture, former actress Melina Mercouri, and her French counterpart Jack Lang devised the annual award of European Capital of Culture, with the intention of recognizing and promoting culture within the European Union.  Marseille was chosen to represent France for the 2013 annual award, sharing the distinction with the Slovakian city of Kosice. It was selected for its “Workshops of the Euro Mediterranean”, a far-reaching project addressing cultural, economic, demographic, and ecological issues shared by the widely diverse nations of the Mediterranean, and celebrating the twenty-six centuries during which Marseille has played a leading role in the area, with its long heritage of freedom and trade, its tradition of religious and cultural tolerance, and its role as a cosmopolitan crossroads. The award extends to the entire Marseille province, stretching from Martigues to La Ciotat, and including 130 communes over nine urban areas including Aix-en-Provence, Arles, and Aubagne. Like Lille, European Capital of Culture in 2004, Marseille is expecting a sharp increase in tourism and investment in 2013, and has been assiduously building for the future well beyond its year in the limelight. The highlight will be the opening, in June 2013, of the new Museum of Civilisations from Europe and the Mediterranean, in Marseille’s Vieux Port.


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  • Dominique

    11:45AM 16 Sep 2013 Reply

    There are dozens of good restaurants in Marseille but for an absolutely exquisite meal for a special occasion try on the waterfront.