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Cork: European Cultural Capital 2005

Ireland's Choice as its City of Culture

One of the under-praised aspects of the European Union is its biennial designation of a European 'Capital of Culture'. Generous funding is provided for a city in a member state that already has an existing cultural infrastructure that can benefit from resuscitation. 2005 was Cork, Ireland's opportunity and they have made very good use of it. Next up is Liverpool in the United Kingdom. More than a decade ago it was Glasgow's chance.

Murals not a major feature but some intriguing examples were to be seen

Cork has never been a murals city, so the public art to be found was limited. Nonetheless the camera spotted some intriguing instances. First a fine sculpture in Cobh [formerly Queenstown] commemorating the millions of Irish emigrants who went to America in the famine years of the 19th century and entered beneath the Statue of Liberty in New York. Then scenes in the English Market in Cork, a shop panel and a pavement artist too.

Click on all images to enlarge

It has to be admitted that some of the planned works for the year remain unfinished - although not to the detriment of the occasion. To address the questions as to why, the Corkman has as tradition would dictate an Irish joke to explain the state of affairs: "Well now, that fellah wanted just to wait and see how the year went before deciding whether to complete the works-in-progress".

Works 'also' in-progress at the Pans

With all the interest out and about, and new muraliferous friends in Invergordon and Callington, attention has not been so closely given to the vigorous progress still being made in Prestonpans in the run up to the Global Congress in August 2006.

The Byng Boys Mural is on track nicely, Kate Hunter's Saltworks has finally found a home at The Co-op carpark, and Tom Ewing is creating a multicultural food mural in the same car park.

The Prestoungrange Gothenburg itself is looking bonnie outdoors, with the Baronial Arms displayed and the rear gardens nicely tended by Jim Forster - gardens shortly to become the location for the Witches' Rememberance sequence of murals and exhibits under Andrew Crummy's leadership in time for October 31st.

Published Date: July 30th 2005

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