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EDINBURGH (Reuters) - The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) has begun the search for a new director to succeed Australian Jonathan Mills in one of the world's top artistic posts, it said on Wednesday.
Mills, who has run the EIF since 2007, steps down at the end of 2014 after an Edinburgh career in which he has broadened the range of the festival to make it a truly global event.
The EIF was founded in 1947 as an antidote to the austere days following World War Two. The festival combines with the massive Fringe, book and jazz festivals and military tattoo in the world's biggest annual celebration of the arts.
"The closing date for applications will be mid-January 2013 with a view to the festival director designate being available to start planning by the summer of 2013 and working full time from October 2014," the EIF announced.
The festival runs annually for three weeks through the second half of August into September.
Mills, who was born in 1963 in Sydney, was an unknown quantity for many festival-goers when he took over in 2007 from Sir Brian McMaster, who had been in charge for more than a decade.
Mills quickly stamped his own personal touch on the festival, bringing to the Scottish capital a broad range of new and sometimes exotic productions in music, drama, opera and dance from around the world.
He had extended his planned tenure as director to take advantage of the London 2012 Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Glasgow in 2014.
Editing by Paul Casciato