Welcome to Stockholm!
In 1984 the idea of the Cultural Capitals of Europe was born. It was natural to designate the home city of the person who launched the idea - Melina Mercouri, famous former actress and Greek minister of culture – as the first such Cultural Capital.
Her idea rested on the premise that "culture" requires a deeper, broader interpretation than we normally attach to the concept. Culture exists at all levels of society, in politics, in social and economic life.
After Athens in 1985, the cultural affairs ministers of the European Union have allowed the baton to be handed over each year to a new city in a new country. Each city has left its own mark on the project, based on its own past and present.
The Cultural Capitals have also endorsed the idea that the project is not only a festival, but a meeting place for the exchange of ideas and commitments. Each city has revealed its cultural uniqueness through individual choices on how to put together a mosaic of music, theater, architecture, literature, film, art and other cultural expressions. All the programs have taught us something new, creating bonds that have brought us closer together without the paralyzing conformity of harmonization. We warmly welcome everyone to Stockholm '98, the fourteenth Cultural Capital of Europe. We hope that our program will stimulate excite-ment, interest, curiosity and commitment- not only among all those who live in Stockholm and Sweden, but also among visitors from near and far.
We hope that everyone will have ample opportunity to experience the rich cultural life of our exceptionally beautiful city.
Source: The Orange Pages – Program Catalogue, Stockholm 1998