Alberto Cassani, coordinator, and Nadia Carboni, project manager of Ravenna 2019, explaining the reasons for the bid at the convention.
After having been three times the capital of the ancient world, Ravenna is now bidding to be “European Capital of Culture” in 2019, the year in which the title will be assigned in Italy.
The reasons for the bid are not just the city’s outstanding cultural and monumental heritage, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and not just its cultural production of international calibre, characterised by interplay between cultural legacy and innovative aspirations, conservation and creation, search for identity and openness to the world.
First and foremost, Ravenna is bidding because it considers itself able to represent our country in an exemplary and effective manner. Its dimension, history, artistic treasures, the Dante legacy and the relation with the sea outline a model of city that ideally reflects the Italian identity. At the same time, its characteristics allow it to originally reinvent that model, emphasising certain positive features that can bring it closer to Europe, and thereby offer a useful and positive contribution.Ravenna, historically being both a place of interaction and dialogue between different cultures and an ancient bridge between East and West, stands now apart by virtue of its strong social capital and cooperative forces, which have held together the civic society in the past, and will continue to do so even more in the future.
The cooperation — that is to say the ability to “do together” — which horizontally permeates all spheres of culture, business and society, is not only a strategic lever for development, but also a tool for tackling transformation and change.This regional cooperative model can legitimately be put forward as a useful paradigm for Europe to endorse, especially in times of crisis.For Ravenna, the bid offers a valuable opportunity for reflecting upon and tackling some of its critical issues, by looking for new ways and means to overcome them.