In 1985, the actress Melina Mercouri, then Greek Minister of Culture, launched the idea of designating a “European City of Culture” each year. Two years later, Athens inaugurated the long series of what would be called, from 1999 onwards, the “European Capitals of Culture”.
This initiative aims to safeguard and promote the diversity of cultures in Europe, to highlight the common features that they share by strengthening the citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural space, and to strengthen the contribution of culture to the long-term economic, social and urban development of cities, taking into account their respective local strategies and priorities.
Each year, the title is awarded to a city in two European Union countries according to a pre-established chronological list until 2033.
France and the Czech Republic have been nominated for 2028.
Together with Sète, the Occitanie Region, the Hérault Department, the Pays de Lunel Municipal Community, the Grand Pic-Saint-Loup Municipal Community, the Hérault Valley Municipal Community, the Hérault Méditerranée Urban Community, the Pays de l’Or Urban Community, and all those who wish to join them, Montpellier has embarked on an adventure as exciting as it is unprecedented: a bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2028. In the aftermath of a long health crisis that has tested the creative and heritage sectors, and at the very moment when the war in Ukraine is prompting us to show solidarity with a country fighting for its freedom and independence, we are choosing to affirm the importance and strength of Europe, of culture and heritage as catalysts for peace and dialogue, bringing people and places closer together.
This bid will encourage the development of new initiatives linking all the different areas of Montpellier 2028 and the local communities, creating a “common bond”. It will give a new lease of life to the cultural ambitions of the City of Montpellier and its surrounding urban area by forging a long-term joint strategy for the whole of the wider Montpellier-Sète area, based on the belief that we share a common goal. A total of 154 communities are involved in this extensive long-term project.
A project focused on the residents of the Montpellier 2028 area
Montpellier’s bid for the title of European Capital of Culture is first and foremost that of the region’s residents.
The year is marked by cultural highlights in which everyone is invited to take part: exhibitions, music, dance, strolls, walks, banquets, as well as meetings, workshops and shows…
Beyond that, everyone can show their support via this website. The more support we receive, the stronger the impact of our bid will be.
Our concepts / our artistic focus
Our project has been developed through three concepts and three artistic directions. These concepts are the heart of our application and represent a working methodology that we wish to promote, experiment and duplicate.
They set the pace for our projects until 2028.
Three concepts and three moments: Connect, Act, Celebrate.
- CONNECT, with each other and our environment.
- ACT, by including and integrating everyone while also enabling, through empowerment.
- CELEBRATE, by dedicating time to the event and sharing.
Three artistic axes: Living Trails, Time machine, Trans!
- Living Trails embraces the question of the living in a broader sense than that of Water while retaining this important specificity of our territory.
- Time machine, it is thought of as a crossroads of time.
- Trans! An affirmation of the deep identity of our candidacy which carries the values of encounters, cross-breeding and mutual contributions.