Confirmation postponed: Chemnitz trembles over the title of European Capital of Culture

Chemnitz – Will Chemnitz not be the cultural capital of 2025 after all?

The culture ministers of the federal states did not confirm the jury’s decision for Chemnitz on October 28 at their most recent meeting. The decision on this should not be made until the beginning of 2021. The promised federal subsidy of EUR 25 million has been put on hold for the time being.


Bavaria, which is currently chairing the round of culture ministers, is said to have announced that it would abstain before the decision. However, this should fall unanimously.

The Free State came out empty-handed with its city of Nuremberg, which at least made it to the finals. “All applicant cities deserve a transparent procedure,” said Bavaria’s Minister of Art Bernd Sibler (49, CSU).

The background to this are reports of cheating in the award of titles. Allegedly, several jury members are said to have been in a conflict of interest and in some cases even benefit from the award of the title to Chemnitz.

The Czech Jiří Suchánek from Pilsen, who has been a member of the EU jury since 2017, is named. The planned Chemnitz cycle tour 2025 ends in his creative economy center. Mattijs Maussen (Netherlands), who is said to have advised 14 other cultural capitals in addition to Chemnitz, is also being criticized. For this purpose, the wife of Professor Ulrich Fuchs is said to have worked for applicant cities.

Chemnitz ‘ex-Mayor Barbara Ludwig (58, SPD) cheered on October 28 when the jury decided in favor of her home town

Photo: dpa

Sibler: “The allegations should be cleared up before the official appointment takes place!” At the beginning of January there will therefore be a discussion about possible personal entanglements.

Saxony’s Minister of Culture Barbara Klepsch (55, CDU) said: “It is important that there are no doubts about the appointment. That’s why we take our time and make a decision at the beginning of January. “

The Saxon Left Group criticized the confusion surrounding the award in the state parliament on Thursday: Saxony’s Minister of Culture should “pour pure wine to the public instead of pretending that Chemnitz is controversial.”

Chemnitz prevailed against the cities of Nuremberg, Hanover, Magdeburg and Hildesheim in the final of the selection process. The second European Capital of Culture in 2025 is Slovenia. The 2020 cultural capital was Rijeka in Croatia and Galway in Ireland. The last German titles went to Essen (2010), Weimar (1999) and West Berlin (1988).


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