Middle Street, Galway City, Source: © Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland

Watch the official Capital of Culture handover ceremony tonight

Watch the official Capital of Culture handover ceremony tonight

Galway and Rijeka will hand the title to Esch, Kaunas and Novi Sad

This evening is the symbolic handover of the European Capital of Culture title from Ireland’s Galway and Croatia’s Rijeka to Esch in Luxembourg, Kaunas in Lithuania and Novi Sad in Serbia. The event will be broadcast on the Irish TG4 and on at 7.30 pm.

Looking forward to a better 2021 for culture

An unusually long Capital of Culture status draws to a close for Galway and Rijeka. Since their official programmes ended in April 2021, the two cities, designated Europe’s hotspots for culture will now officially make way for the next cities to take the stage.

The ceremony on 7 May will include a short address by EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel and Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media of Ireland. There will be a symbolic acceptance of the title by the 3 new host cities.

In the delivery of the cultural programme that won Galway the title of Ireland’s 2020 European Capital of Culture, Galway 2020 has realised its vision to create new partnerships and new ways of working. That it did so in the midst of the sudden onset of a global pandemic is a testament to the creativity and commitment of the Galway 2020 team and the cultural partners working side by side to deliver for audiences. We have experienced the joy of wonderful live performances, exhibitions and online events across the entire spectrum of cultural activity.

I thank all involved for their dedication and work. As we hand over to the 2022 European Capitals of Culture, I wish Novi Sad, Esch and Kaunas a truly successful and memorable year,” said Minister Martin, as quoted on

Although Rijeka and Galway were EU’s Capitals of culture for 2020, their programmes stretched way into 2021. This was possible after an extension was given to the two cities, due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on cultural activities. Initially, both cities were supposed to hold the title throughout 2020 only and at the end of the year give the floor to Serbia’s Novi Sad.

According to the changed calendar, Novi Sad is now taking over the title from May 2021 to 2022, while Timisoara in Romania and Elefsina in Greece will do so in 2023. Respectively, Kaunas (Lithuania) and Esch-Alzette (Luxembourg) will hold the title in 2022.



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