As the sole candidate from Luxembourg, Esch will share the honour with the city of Kaunus in Lithuania.
It will be the third occasion for the grand duchy to hold the capital of culture title--in 1995 Luxembourg City was the European Capital of Culture, while in 2007 the capital city was the focus of a programme that encompassed the greater region. On both occasions, Luxembourg city has profited from the legacy of being the capital of culture in the shape of permanent cultural institutions such as the Casino-contemporary art forum from 1995 and the Rotondes from 2007.
Esch has been preparing its bid for close to two years and the official Esch 2022 site claims that more than 60 projects are already taking shape, with 15 or so slated to be up and running in 2018, including a European Theatre Festival. The bid team has also unveiled plans to create artist-run initiatives to showcase the city’s workers’ housing estates and the “phenomenon of their social diversification.” The Esch 2022 slogan is “Shift, Shape, Share”.
Like the 2007 Luxembourg reign as capital of culture, Esch will also incorporate other towns into its bid including the 11 PRO-SUD communes in Luxembourg, stretching from Kaerjeng to Dudelange, and the Communauté Communes Pays Haut Val Alzette in France.
“We would like to become Capital of Culture because we want to draw on the potential our region offers,” says the official bid team. “we are convinced that this will have a long-lasting impact both on the development of our region and further afield.”