Plzeň 2015 brings cultural revival, visitors influx
The project Plzeň – European City of Culture 2015, which kicked off in grand style in January this year, is now at the halfway point. What have been the most popular events in the West Bohemian city? And how successful has the project been so far? I put these questions to Radovan Auer, the Director of Marketing and Communication of Plzeň 2015:
“At this moment we don’t have statistical data about overnight tourists, because they will only be released at the end of August but in the streets of Plzeň you can see a lot of international tourists at we have about 90 percent tickets sold for our events, so we are very happy.”
You also said you wanted local people to participate in the events. How successful were you in attracting the locals?
“Part of our programme is completely built on participation of people and we are very happy that these programmes, such as the Neighbours’ Day or the exhibition Family Photo Album, are very successful.
What were the most successful events in Plzeň so far?
“Among the most successful events are the exhibitions. We had two exhibitions about Jiří Trnka, the famous animator and puppeteer born in Plzeň, and both of them were visited by 44,000 people, which makes them one of the country’s top five exhibitions of the year.
“Very successful is also the exhibition of Gottfried Lindauer, another Plzeň-born artist, who made portraits of the Maori nation in New Zealand.”
And what are some of the highlights of the second half?
“I have already mentioned Jiří Trnka, but also the well-known Spejbl and Hurvínek come from Plzeň. That’s why we brought the show of giant puppets from Spain and something like that will probably never happen in the Czech Republic again, because it is extremely complicated to organise.
“Another very interesting project is our international cooperation with another City of Culture of this year, Belgium’s Mons. We prepared a theatrical piece called Ubu Today and we think it will be one of the key events of this autumn in Plzeň.”