• Montpellier joins the ten French cities already candidates for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2028.

  • Applications must be submitted before December 1, 2022 and the choice will be final in December 2023.

  • For years, Montpellier has been boasting about its dynamism through culture.

    An advantage but also paradoxically a handicap to obtain this distinction.

Will Montpellier be the European Capital of Culture in 2028?

The city – associated for the occasion with Sète – formalized its candidacy this Tuesday in the metropolitan council.

It joins the nine other French cities which dream of being pre-selected by the Ministry of Culture within a year.

Only one of them will be the lucky winner at the end of the selection process, in December 2023.

“We want to show that culture makes it possible to inhabit our public spaces, our heritage and contribute to their transformation, details the mayor of Montpellier Michaël Delafosse (PS).

This application makes sense.

We are the youngest territory in France.

To engage in this adventure is to renew the secular pact between the territory and the youth, its creativity and its capacity to reinvent itself, to appropriate cultural policies.


While Reims has already defined its logo, while artists (Cécile Coulon in Clermont or Philippe Torreton in Rouen) have associated their names with other candidate cities, the Hérault prefecture is embarking on a long-distance race, slightly after others, without being late.

The goal: “strengthening the international influence of the territory, enhancing its image with citizens, strengthening synergies within the cultural sector, promoting awareness and access to culture, as well as stimulating cultural tourism.


“A real challenge for Montpellier”

Montpellier wants to shine through its culture as it has done for a long time, ever since Georges Frêche chose to make it one of its driving forces, along with sport, to boast of the dynamism of its city.

“The expenditure of the metropolis of Montpellier and its 31 municipalities in favor of culture is the highest in France per inhabitant”, continues Michaël Delafosse.

Which can be both its strength… and its weakness.

"Becoming European Capital of Culture brings more to cities that have something to build or structure, which was the case in Marseille, Liverpool and Lille," says Sylvia Girel.

The researcher had assessed the impact of this nomination for Marseille (in 2013), one of the four French cities to have obtained this consecration after Paris (1994), Avignon (2000) and Lille (2004).

“It's more difficult to show added value for cities where the culture is already well structured.

It is a real challenge for a city like Montpellier where the cultural offer is strong, to create the leverage effect sought through this program by the European Union.


Two cities, one Czech and one French

Each year, two cities from two different countries are chosen as European Capitals of Culture.

In 2028, it will be a Czech city and a French one.

Ten municipalities are currently candidates in France: Amiens, Bastia, Bourges, Clermont-Ferrand, Nice, Reims, Roubaix, Rouen, Saint-Denis and Montpellier.

Applications must be submitted by December 1, a pre-selection will be made in the first half of 2023 before the selection of the future capital, in December 2023. Between now and the closing of registrations, Montpellier has eight months to stock up on innovative ideas and seduce the jury.


Reims: The city unveils its logo as European Capital of Culture in 2028


Nice in the race to be European Capital of Culture 2028

  • Languedoc Roussillon

  • Occitania

  • Culture

  • Montpellier

  • Europe

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