The Hague eyes European Capital of Culture for 2018

8th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

The city municipal executive has asked the municipal council to approve the preparations for these plans.

8 April 2008

THE HAGUE - The city has set its sights on becoming a European Capital of Culture for 2018 with a new International Dance and Music Centre on the Spuiplein. The Hague municipal executive has asked The Hague municipal council to approve the preparations for these plans.

The Netherlands and Malta will each have a turn in 2018 to supply a European Capital of Culture, which shows off the richness of European culture. Dutch cities wishing to make a bid for the title have to submit their plans to the national government by October 2012.

'For our image as international city, it's imperative that The Hague becomes the European Capital of Culture,' explained deputy mayor Jetta Klijnsma. 'The Hague has so many wonderful things and we would like people to come from far and wide and discover our city.'

Deputy mayor Frits Huffnagel added: 'The Hague's cultural programme is one of its best-kept secrets. This is good for our international profile and employment opportunities.'

Conservatory on Spuiplein
The candidature of The Hague as European Capital of Culture 2018 depends upon developing an International Dance & Music Centre. A new building or extensive renovations to the Lucent Danstheater and the Dr. Anton Philipszaal will thus be essential to the city’s candidature.

In 2007 the two performance facilities underwent a facelift after the buildings were purchased by the municipality of The Hague. The final refurbishments will be made in the current theatre season. The renovations have brought the concert hall and theatre to an adequate level for a limited number of years; however, much more needs to be done in order to meet future standards.

'The Cultural Capital can only take shape if the buildings on the Spui are made spic and span,' said Klijnsma. 'The performance facilities are not so old but they are quite dated. And we also want the Royal Conservatoire (Koninklijk Conservatorium) to move to the Spuiplein.'

The municipality of The Hague together with the management of the Royal Conservatoire, the Nederlands Dans Theater, the Residentie Orkest (The Hague Philharmonic) and the Stichting Gastprogrammering will more closely examine how they can realise their ambitions for the new centre. The International Dance and Music Centre should be ready by 2018, the year in which The Hague aims to become a European Capital of Culture.

The ambitions for the city centre’s cultural infrastructure also fit in well with the plans to redevelop the Wijnhavenkwartier and to create a lively area around the Spuiplein.

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