Umeå in northern Sweden took together with Riga in Latvia over the baton on January 1st from Marseille in France and Kosice in the Slovak Republic. The title last until end of 2014.
Umeå was awarded the capital of culture designation by an independent panel on the basis of cultural programs they submitted for consideration. Inaugurated in 1985 in Athens, Cultural Capitals highlight the diversity and richness of European culture while also fostering a European identity, the European Parliament writes in a press-release.
The city is the northernmost EU city ever to be cultural capital and the first in the Barents Region. Umeå receives €1,5 million in cultural funding from the European Union for activities in 2014.
Umeå’s aim for the year is to show Europeans northern Sweden and to increase cultural exchanges between the city and the rest of Europe.
A rich cultural event program is already in pipe for throughout the year including festivals, concerts, exhibitions and shows. The Sami perspective is especially highlighted in several events. The official inauguration weekend as the Capital of Culture takes place from January 31 to February 2 with festivities and royal attendance, according to the Umeå2014 portal.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.