Sunday, April 15, 2012

Guimarães 2012 - European Capital of Culture

Set of stamps

Souvenir sheet

First Day Cover with stamps

First Day Cover with souvenir sheet
The project of the European Capitals of Culture was launched at the beginning of the 1980s by the Greek and French ministers of culture, Melina Mercouri and Jack Lang, respectively, and was welcomed by the European Union. It is a festival designed to celebrate the cultural diversity and richness of Europe and to strengthen the ties that bind the Europeans. Held for the first time in 1985 (Athens) it now involves two cities from different countries each year.
The selected cities must prepare a cultural programme in accordance with strict criteria such as the European dimension of the event and the participation of their inhabitants. The European dimension is illustrated through the topics chosen and the cooperation between artists and cultural operators from different countries. The programme should also provide long-lasting effects and contribute to the cultural, social and economic development of the city.
The choice of Guimarães as a European Capital of Culture in 2012 (the other is Maribor, a city in Slovenia) took into account the symbolic facets of the city, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001 and the occurrence of favourable conditions for cultural creation: a significant young population, a strong network of local associations, the rooting of higher education and a high quality artistic programme.
The Guimarães 2012 programme was organized in two main areas: creative art (art and architecture, performing arts, cinema and the audiovisual, music) and city and citizens (thought, city, community, public space), supported by an overall educational service. Furthermore, a programme managed by the local associations was created.
The programmatic choices favoured the creation in context and in process, the participation of the audiences, attracting new ones, the crossing of experiences and perspectives, from the inside out and outside-in. Built on a strong connection to the community and its institutions, this encourages new creations and a sense of belonging to Europe. It invokes the new technologies as artistic resource and invites the associative movement to share the responsibilities of the project. It invests in new artistic production structures as a way of generating new possibilities for the future. It searches to strengthen and expand the role of public space in the city’s dynamics and provide a relevant contribution to the European debate.
In 2012, Guimarães is the welcoming city that has managed to retain its heritage legacy and to add contemporary values; the amazing city where every day and at the most singular venues you can take part in a diverse and creative programme of excellence. New spaces are added to historic sites and museums, the result of the conversion of old buildings that had lost their function. There, artists and public, professionals and amateurs, visitors or residents of Guimarães and its region, big institutions and small voluntary associations will meet. Researchers, artists and entrepreneurs, curators, collectors and authors, visitors and residents will cross each other. In short, the different layers a city is made of, will open to the country, to Europe and the World.

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 10 April 2012
Values: Stamps of €0,32; €0,47; €0,68 and €0,80 + one miniature sheets stamps of €3,00
Designer: Atelier Acácio Santos / Elizabete Fonseca
Printer: Cartor
Process: Offset
Size: 40,0 x 30,6 mm
Perforation: Cross of Christ 13 x 13
Sheet: sheets of 50 stamps

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