Latvia capital joins Umea as Europe culture capital

Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:45pm EDT
 
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RIGA (Reuters Life!) - Latvia's capital city Riga is to join northern Swedish town Umea as joint European Capital of Culture in 2014, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

Riga is a city of more than 700,000 people while Umea is a small university city in the far north of Sweden.

"Riga has great potential for being the European Capital of Culture," said EU education and culture commissioner Jan Figel.

"Bearing this title for one year will certainly place this city in the spotlight and create enormous potential for it to develop locally and raise its profile across Europe," he added in a statement.

The title, which has been given out since 1985 on a rotating basis through EU member states, is currently shared by Lithuanian capital Vilnius and Austrian city Linz. (Reporting by Patrick Lannin, editing by Paul Casciato)