Marseilles European Capital of Culture

Written by Provence Confidential. Posted in Tours & things to do

Marseilles European Capital of Culture

In May 2009 the European Commission announced that Marseilles would be the European Capital of Culture in 2013. At a recent press conference hosted by the Chambre de Commerce et Industrie Marseille Provence (CCIMP) President Jacques Pfister, announced that La Poste (French Postal Service) was the first official sponsor of the event with 1.5 million Euros. With over 600 individual project proposals submitted Marseilles 2013 is currently recruiting sponsors who can adopt a project.

One of the advantages of hosting events such as the Olympic Games or the European Capital of Culture in your home town is that suddenly the financing for some very elaborate infrastructures, which stay well beyond the actual event, suddenly surfaces.

The FRAC (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain) will build awareness and support for contemporary art. It will be open to all cultures and feature resident artists, architects, writers or philosophers, or even performing artists, thanks to its in-house theatre with seating for 250 people. This 5100m2 facility will be built near Place de la Joliette. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has designed the new building which should be completed in 2012. The FRAC will include a cafe, apartments for visiting artists, gardens and a 600m2 roof top terrace.

The MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) is intended to bring cultural life to the heart of Marseilles. This 26 000 m2 facility was designed by Architect Rudy Riciotti and will occupy the current Fort St. Jean (seen on the left in the picture) and beyond. Former French Ambassador Yves Aubin de Messuziere was recently elected President of the MuCEM.

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