Since 1985, the European Council of Ministers has assigned the title of European Capital of Culture. The application dossier for Matera European Capital of Culture was prepared by the Committee Matera 2019, with the involvement of the Municipality, the University of Basilicata, the Two Provinces, the Chambers of Commerce, the Foundation Zetema, the Matera's Murgia Park and the Conservatory of Matera, and was accepted on 17 October 2014.
It is important to highlight the steps of the path to becoming Capital of Culture. First of all, the city is required a program which would enhance the identity of the places by developing innovative cultural products. Also, the program was to involve the cooperation between the entire local population and foreign tourists. Finally, the program would have to fit into the long-term development plans of the city.
Some of the issues particularly appreciated by the jury and declared in the assessment of the project were technological – great attention dedicated to digital technology and the removal of obstacles that prevent access to culture through new technologies, and personal - the enthusiasm and the innovation characterizing the artistic approach, through which a popular initiative has evolved into an element placed in the centre of the town and regional planning
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