Norwegian city to be first European Capital of Culture north of Arctic Circle

Bodø will be a European Capital of Culture in 2024, the European Commission confirmed on Wednesday.

The northern city will become the third in Norway – after Bergen in 2000 and Stavanger in 2008 – to take on the cultural capital title.

Bodø competed with Banja Luka and Mostar, both in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to be recommended as the European Capital of Culture 2024 for cities outside of the EU.

“I am convinced that (Bodø) and its region will use this opportunity to reinforce their cultural and other connections with the European Union,” Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said in a press release on the commission’s website.

“Visitors from all over Europe and beyond will have the possibility to discover the city and its cultural assets, but also to appreciate the diversity of cultures on our continent,” Navracsics added.

Bodø will share the title in 2024 with two EU cities: Tartu in Estonia and an Austrian city, to be announced in November.

“We are incredibly happy today. This was a real team victory. 2024 will be an unforgettable year. This is the first time we will have a major international event in northern Norway,” Bodø’s campaign spokesperson Ida Pinnerød told NRK.

The city’s application succeeded without the financial backing of the Ministry of Culture, but the ministry will support the cultural year itself, the broadcaster writes.

The overall budget for being capital of culture is 300 million kroner, with funding split evenly between the state, sponsors and local government.