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Mytilene Presents European Cultural Capital 2021 Bid at Acropolis Museum

Mytilini town, Lesvos. Photo © Koutrolm / Wikimedia Commons

Mytilini town, Lesvos. Photo © Koutrolm / Wikimedia Commons

The capital of the Greek island of Lesvos, Mytilene is enlisting its history, architecture, poetry, art, literature and gastronomy in its bid to be named European Cultural Capital 2021.

Mytilene_Lesvos_2021The birthplace of ancient poet Sappho, folk artist Theophilos and art patron Teriade, among others, is vying for the coveted title, and Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos will be presenting the official bid titled “Mytilene – Lesvos 2021” on November 16, at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

The event will include the screening of a film, a poetry reading featuring the verse of Sappho set to music by Nikos Xanthoulis, who will also play the ancient seven-stringed lyre.

“Besides Mytilene’s important role in the history of culture and its unique architectural landscape, the island’s recent predicament as the largest refugee gateway, which earned the attention of the entire world for its compassionate handling, may very well be an asset in view of the city’s bid,” Mayor Galinos said.

The deadline for European Cultural Capital 2021 bids has been extended to November 30, 2015, with the final decision to be announced in 2016.

ECoC-Logo-inThe European Capital of Culture institution was founded in 1985 by former actress and then-Greek Culture Minister Melina Mercouri. On the Greek side, Athens, Thessaloniki and Patra have served as European Capital of Culture in 1985, 1997 and 2006, respectively.

Among the Greek cities vying for the title are Ioannina, Larissa and Delphi.

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