Tel Aviv Municipality is asking the European Union to declare the city a European Capital of Culture. Every year since 1985, the EU chooses a city as the Capital of Culture for a period of one year during which it is given a chance to showcase its cultural life and cultural development.
The mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, would like the city to be included in the list for 2009 – the year in which Tel Aviv will celebrate its centennial.
Huldai has already pitched his idea to several foreign ambassadors including the EU's ambassador to Israel and said they expressed their support. Since Israel is not a member of the EU, it will be difficult to be included in the list of European Capitals of Culture. Yet, Huldai is counting on a precedent – Saint Petersburg received the title even though Russia is not a member of the EU.
"We consider our city as a universal city, and on the occasion of the centennial it will be wonderful if the EU decides to honor Tel Aviv with the title," said the mayor.
The EU does not seem to share Huldai's enthusiasm at this point saying that "the cultural cities are selected many years in advance. Tel Aviv did not apply on time and the list is full until 2019."
Reproduced with permission: Ynet