During Monday’s visit to Bodø, Minister of Culture and Equality Abid Raja (Liberals) on behalf of the government handed out NOK 100 millions to Bodø 2024 – European Capital of Culture.
“It is a great honor and joy for me to take pride in saying that the government will cover its third, up to NOK 100 million, of the Bodø 2024 budget”, Raja said during his presentation at the award-winning Stormen library.
“I am convinced that having Bodø as European Capital of Culture in 2024 will be an experience for the entire country and for all visitors. At the same time, I want to highlight the European dimension. Our contact with the surrounding world. Art and culture is what ties us together.”
“Bodø will bring Europe and the world to Norway, and it will bring what is North Norwegian to the world”, Raja said.
The Minister said to High North News that he believes the status will carry significance for the entire Arctic region.
“It will have ripple effects for the entire region, first and foremost. This will contribute to good business development, jobs, experiences, and contribute to Norwegians really opening their eyes to this region.”
He said he is thrilled that the world will get to experience what the High North has to offer.
“This will be the greatest advertising Norway could have in Europe. To me, it is a huge privilege to be Minister of Culture and respond to the application Bodø has submitted and can be so proud of.”
It was announced in September 2019 that Bodø was to be awarded status of European Capital of Culture 2024. The city’s bid for the status beat Mostar and Banja Luka, both in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Bodø is the first city north of the Arctic circle to receive the title of European Capital of Culture.
The overall budget is NOK 300 million, out of which the state is to guarantee up to a third, or up to NOK 100 million, while the remaining two thirds are to be covered by municipal and county contributions as well as private contributions and sponsors, according to a press release from the Ministry of Culture.
Mayor Ida Pinnerød (Labour) of Bodø Municipality says to High North News that Raja brought great news.
“It is, first and foremost, great that we get the state support that we need to conduct a solid and professional Capital of Culture. It also gives us a greater commitment and participation from the State, which I believe will be important for the northern and Arctic dimension of this.
This is the best opportunity ever to promote the Arctic region in a cultural perspective.
What do you think this may mean to the Arctic region?
“This is the best opportunity ever to place the Arctic region in a cultural perspective and in Europe and create stronger ties. However, it is also about creating better understanding for our lives here, for indigenous people and knowledge of the region in which we live.”
“We are the first Arctic Capital of Culture and I think that may create reactions that will be great.”
This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.