Basque country

Saint Sebastian, capital of peace and culture

Published on 29 June 2011 at 12:01

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“Saint Sebastian opens to the world,” headlines the Spanish daily El Correo, following the decision by the Minister of Culture to designate the Basque city as the 2016 European City of Culture (alongside the Polish town of Wroclaw). San Sebastian, or Donostia in Basque, was selected over five other candidates. The jury was won over by the city’s effort “to overcome violence and to have culture serve peace and cohabitation,” the Basque paper notes. This will be a genuine test for the city’s administration, led by the separatist coalition, Bildu, newly-elected last May 22, El Correo argues. The paper also stresses that the designation of the city marks “political change in San Sebastian,” formerly administered by the Socialist Party. Called "highly political", the decision was criticised by supporters of the other cities in the running. These included Saragossa and Cordoba.

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