Liverpool launched as EU Cultural Capital for 2008

London, Jan 11, IRNA ,Liverpool was formally launched as a European Capital of Culture for 2008 Friday after the north-west England port city spent millions of pounds on regeneration.

The year-long programme in the city, more known for football and as the home of the Beatles pop group, includes more than 350 events and hopes to attract an extra two million visitors, boosting the local economy by Pnds 100m.

Support TwoCircles

Regeneration plans included spending Pnds 150 m on a 10,000-seat arena and a convention centre, but critics have warned that such developments are little more than “window dressing” and that the inner-city core of Liverpool has been allowed to rot away.

The city has been designated the European Capital of Culture as part of the EU’s scheme to award the accolade in every member country in rotation as a platform to showcase cultural life.

The programme was launched to replace the City of Culture status, which began with Athens in 1985. The new title for 2008 is being shared with the Norwegian city of Stavanger.

Liverpool was picked from 12 British cities by judges in 2003 to allow time for the city to make preparations in time for the official launch.

The cultural strengths of Liverpool were said to include the largest collection of Grade II-listed buildings outside London and one of the best collections of European art outside British capital as well as being the birthplace of the Beatles.