Over 2,500 events to take place at RUHR.2010 European Capital of Culture

The countdown has already started for the European Capital of Culture 2010 in places; Istanbul – TurkeyEssen; Ruhr Region – Germany, and Pécs, Hungary.  

The German National Tourist Board organized a Germany Night on November 24 at The Ceylan InterContinental Hotel Istanbul with a theme of “RUHR.2010 European Capital of Culture”.

DZT President Mrs. Petra Hedorfer, RUHR.2010 General Manager Dr. Fritz Pleitgen, and Ruhr Tourism General Manager Mr. Axel Bierman, German Ambassador of to Turkey Mr. Eckhardt Kunz, RUHR.2010 Project Manager Elmas Topcu, and RUHR.2010 Art Director Asli Sevindim attended the night.

Speaking at the German Night, Mrs. Hedorfer said that Germany is the number one destination for Turkish travelers. According to the Germany Statistics Bureau, about 440 thousand Turkish travellers visited Germany in 2008. Mrs. Hedorfer added that they see a great future in Turkey with the help of informing and marketing services in the country.

Pottporus show group performed an eye-catching dance show at the night. “Pottporus” which is the only one of its kind in Germany and which does first-class youth work. For more information visit the internet site of Pottporus.

“Essen for the Ruhr” represents 53 cities, towns and districts containing more than 5.3 million inhabitants. It will be playing host to all those who wish to experience the region’s breathtaking change from being Europe’s legendary coal and steel conurbation to a new type of polycentric cultural metropolis.

RUHR.2010 brings together the regional players from culture, politics and business into a creative alliance with the ambitious goal of transforming the region into a leading European metropolis of the future. More than 300 cultural projects and 2,500 events will be staging in the region throughout the year 2010.

A Metropolis in the Making

For more than a century the Ruhr was dominated by the coal and steel industries. Its residents labored under harsh conditions and transformed a formerly insignificant strip of land into the powerhouse of German industry. Despite language barriers and cultural differences the workers in the pits and blast furnaces had to rely on each other blindly. This sense of togetherness has left a strong mark on the region’s identity – the basis for today’s Ruhr mythology.

The decline of the coal and steel industries after World War II was another challenge for the inhabitants of the Ruhr. They have met this challenge in a typically courageous and pragmatic manner. While the former industrial icons – pitheads, coal mines, gasometers, blast furnaces, and even breweries – have been gradually turned into stunning industrial monuments along what is now called the Ruhr’s “Industrial Heritage Trail”, the Ruhr area has become the home of 19 universities, 100 concert houses, 120 theatres and over 200 museums and festivals.

Today the area consists of 53 cities, of which Dortmund (587,000 inhabitants), Essen (583,000 inhabitants), Duisburg (497,000 inhabitants) and Bochum (382,000 inhabitants) are the largest. All of them are lined up along the Ruhr’s main traffic artery, the A40 motorway, without any visible city limits or a single city centre. The south of the region is traversed by the river Ruhr, a long-time symbol of the Ruhr’s coal and steel industries.

Nowadays the Ruhr Valley together with Emscher and Lippe, two rivers further to the north of the region, have regained their natural beauty. They now provide Ruhr residents and a steadily growing number of visitors with green landscapes and a large variety of open-air recreation. The Emscher Landscape Park will represent the green heart of the Ruhr Metropolis during and after RUHR.2010. It offers a combination of untamed natural beauty and new gardens, sports and other outdoor activities as well as an open-air art exhibition on Emscher island (emscherKUNST.2010) that will feature internationally known artists. The exhibition will be giving visitors a sharper impression of the transformation taking place throughout the region.

Numerous Highlights

The programme of RUHR.2010 European Capital of Culture consists of more than 300 projects and over 2,500 events that will be taking place all over the Ruhr Metropolis throughout 2010. Visitors to the Ruhr will thus get a multitude of opportunities to get to know the new metropolis, its cultural heritage and cultural potential, no matter whether they love comedy shows or classical concerts, allotment gardens or landscape parks, corner bars or gourmet restaurants – all of which are symbols of the Ruhr’s diverse culture.

RUHR.2010 cultural highlights include:

Grand Opening, January 9, 2010

The former coalmining complex Zeche Zollverein in Essen (a World Cultural Heritage site and home of the Ruhr Museum), will be the stage for the RUHR.2010 Grand Opening celebrations. German President Horst Köhler will be taking part.

Folkwang Museum

The renowned international art museum reopens in a new light-flooded exhibition building designed by the London architect David Chipperfield. 2010 exhibition highlights include:

– “The most beautiful museum in the world – The Folkwang Museum to 1933”, a reconstruction of the museum’s spectacular pre-war art collection, opens in March 2010

– “Metropolitan Images – The Impressionists in Paris”, opens in October 2010. It is a tribute to the first metropolis in Europe in the 19th century.

Odyssey Europe, opens February 27, 2010

Six of Europe’s leading dramatists will be rewriting Homer’s Odyssey. The result will be presented in a theatrical marathon in six different theatres throughout the metropolis. Spectators can take part in a symbolic “odyssey” by travelling from one theatre to the other during a single weekend.

Biennale for International Light Art, March 28 – May 27, 2010

The world’s first Biennale for International Light Art under the motto ‘open light in private spaces’. 60 works of light will be on display for two month in private houses and apartments in the eastern part of the Ruhr metropolis. Partners of the biennale include the Centre for International Light Art in Unna, the world’s first and only museum for light art.

Ruhr Views, April 24 – October 24, 2010

An exhibition of outstanding contemporary photography, including works by world famous photographers Andreas Gursky and Hilla Becher, at the Zollverein colliery, Essen. A total of 11 photographers will be presenting their personal view of the Ruhr region in a process of transformation.

Shaft Signs, opens May 22, 2010

Hundreds of gigantic balloons will be simultaneously launched to a height of 80 meters above the ground for one week. The balloons will mark the location of the shafts of former coalmines.

emscherKUNST.2010, opens May, 2010

An open-air art exhibition on the Emscher river island, featuring internationally known artists. The show will be giving visitors a sharper impression of the transformation in progress.

Ruhr Atoll, opens May, 2010

Art islands on Lake Baldeney will be inviting visitors to explore the new islands in pedal boats under the motto “art is energy, energy is movement”.

!SING – DAY OF SONG, June 4 – 5, 2010

A festival of a million voices, including Bobby McFerrin. Following the !SING song festival the largest choir in the history of German music (65,000 singers) will perform a final concert in the VELTINS Arena, Gelsenkirchen.

Theatre of the World 2010, July 1 – 18, 2010

The most important international festival of performing arts in Germany, hosted by the city of Mülheim an der Ruhr in 2010. The festival offers a unique platform for asking global questions about arts, politics and identity.

Still Life A40, July 18, 2010

The metropolis will turn its main traffic artery, the A40 motorway, into a still life by putting up a 60-kilometre banqueting table. Everybody is invited to book one of the 20,000 individual tables where they can stage their own performance or party.

ExtraShift, June 19, 2010

The shortest night of the year turns into the longest party of the year, offering a gigantic art and performance festival in 40 venues and presenting former industrial sites in a new light.

Love Parade, summer 2010

One of the world’s largest open-air party events, celebrating contemporary street and party culture.

The Henze Project. New music for the metropolis, throughout the year 2010

An homage to Hans Werner Henze, one of the world’s greatest living composers and pioneers of contemporary music, covering Henze’s complete oeuvre including opera, ballet, orchestral music and chamber concerts in different venues.

MELEZ, autumn 2010

A festival of cultures, celebrating diversity as the most fundamental feature of the Ruhr metropolis.

For further information and program details, visit http://www.ruhr2010.de/

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