Valdis Zatlers

Valdis Zatlers

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Rīga: The European Cultural Capital in 2014

Rīga will be the European Cultural Capital in 2014.  The city will pulsate with events that will demonstrate Latvian culture and the traditions of the Latvian people.  This will allow people to see ways in which culture changes and influences the lives of individuals and the city.  Culture can be a driving engine in ensuring that times of change are a positive challenge.

Before the final decision was taken on the 2014 Cultural Capital, President Zatlers met with representatives of the three cities in Latvia that were up for the honour – Cēsis, Liepāja and Rīga.  He praised their efforts to promote the project despite financial difficulties that exist at this time.  The President has promised that he will help Rīga on its way to becoming a cultural metropolis for Europe in 2014.  That year will offer a range of exciting cultural events, and it will stimulate growth in the city and the entire country in terms of the creative industries and the emergence of a human-friendly urban environment.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2010, President Zatlers spoke at a seminar that was titled “Lessons of the Past to Transform Values of the Future,” emphasising the key role of culture at a time of economic complications during which people take a fresh look at their values.  The President also said that as Rīga prepares to become the 2014 European Cultural Capital, it will particularly focus on creativity, innovations and the principle of participation in culture so that the development of the creative industries in the Latvian economy might help speed up the process of economic recovery.