Dresden Mayor Helma Orosz has announced that the German city will be launching a bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2025 and has invited a public dialogue over the initiative, Monopol reports.
The move comes amid a widespread debate over the anti-Islamic Pegida movement, which originated in the east German city. “It can’t be that this movement prevents us from moving forward” the mayor insisted, adding that, the city “ will not allow this reasoning to even marginally interfere with the culture of Dresden.”
The Pegida movement has gained considerable momentum in Germany since statistics have shown that the country has the highest influx of immigrants in the European Union. It has attracted significant criticism from politicians and media because of its right-wing message.
The geographical location of Dresden, situated between central and eastern Europe, combined with its rich cultural and scientific history, makes it a prime candidate. In addition, Orosz views the European Capital of Culture application as an opportunity to show the world “what we stand for, what we are proud of, what we tolerate, and that we are prepared to answer critical questions about.”
The Director of the Technical University Dresden, Dr. Hans Müller-Steinhagen agrees, “I think Dresden has earned the title.” The Director of the Palucca Dance Academy added, “I see this as a great opportunity for the city.”
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