Salzburg refuses to be City of Culture

Salzburg refuses to be City of Culture


norman lebrecht

February 08, 2018

The city council voted overwhelmingly last night not to apply for the EU’s rolling title of City of Culture.

The reason given is that it will cost tens of millions of Euros that could be better spent on culture itself, rather than the trappings of a title.

Salzburg’s decision suggests that the title has been hopelessly devalued by being rolled around provincial fishing and mining towns in obscure corners of the EU under some all-must-have-prizes rule.



  • Nik says:

    Let’s put it this way: Salzburg’s decision shows that a city like Salzburg doesn’t need the extra publicity as it already has a strong reputation for culture and just about as many tourists as it can handle. This is sensible but doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the scheme as such. Some of those “provincial fishing and mining towns” did a rather impressive job when it was their turn and reaped a well-deserved boost in international profile and visitor numbers.

  • Steve says:

    I wonder if this is something running in the Austrian subconscious?..

  • Hilary says:

    A remarkably modest decision to arrive at. I guess there’s not a cash flow problem in Salzburg.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Liverpool, Glasgow, Hull. All places which have become run down over the years due to central government mismanagement. All deserve a pat on the back for their various festivals etc.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      The comment “central government mismanagement” is extremely ideological. Some people might claim that (i) local government or local should be providing solutions to local problems; or (ii) the solution is through “the market” providing private sector employment; or (iii) the problems aren’t really solveable since the underlying economy has changed.

      For example, Liverpool is no longer a great port employing lots of people because ships are no longer unloaded by hand (containerisation/mechanization) and the ships are so much bigger that they only call at one British port on the way to continental Europe (needs to be in South or East of Britain to avoid a huge detour).

  • Maria says:

    “central government mismanagement”


    Simple as that?

    • Sanity says:

      As someone who worked extensively as a researcher into the dynamics of post-industrial communities, yes…

      • Elizabeth Owen says:


      • Ellingtonia says:

        “As someone who worked extensively as a researcher into the dynamics of post-industrial communities, yes…” Ah, one of those people who never had a proper job but spent their careers “researching” problems and then pronouncing. What would we do without these academic researchers?

        • Sanity says:

          Tell us all about YOUR proper job. I was a trade unionist at that time. Very much a proper job, with very tangible outcomes. Do tell us about your fabulous contribution to society.

          • Ellingtonia says:

            Do tell us what you were a Trade Unionist for, academia? (and just out of interest I was a shop steward as well, which actually means nothing as many make a full time living out of so called “representing others, look at the motley lot running the labour party)

        • Sanity says:

          I worked with devastated post-industrial communities within the Iron and Steel industry. You were a shop steward for an opera chorus, I believe.

          Your turn.

    • Sanity says:

      Not at all. You should learn to spell argument.