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Coal & Steel Region Forges Art Future as EU Culture Capital

The Ruhr region of western Germany was once a thriving industrial zone that is now a collection of abandoned industrial sites. The disused sites are being transformed into museums and performance venues in the hope that regional interest and increased tourism will lead to economic revival.

2010 is the 25th anniversary of the EU’s Culture Capital program. Participants receive funds for events reflecting European character and that directly involve residents. The region of Ruhr, Germany and the cities of Istanbul, Turkey and Pecs, Hungary share the 2010 Cultural Capital title.

The lead gallery photos shows one of Rurh’s opening events, a light installation by artist Callous Porter at an old coal-wash plant in Essen’s Zeche Zollverein that is now a World Heritage site.