Stavanger: European Capital of Culture 2008

The Council of the European Union has designated Stavanger as a European Capital of Culture in 2008 along with Liverpool. The Panel were impressed with the daring programme that Stavanger proposed

The jury commented that the artistic quality of Stavanger 2008's programme was excellent, including a remarkable contemporary programme of challenging nature.

Why Stavanger
In the guidelines set by the Council a designated city "shall establish a community action whose objective shall be to highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures and features they share, as well as promote greater mutual acquaintance between European citizens."

"The Stavanger region's history, culture, mentality and attitudes are characterised by their European influences. This has given us the inspiration to seek out international contacts and challenges. It has made us daring. It has brought people together," says Leif Johan Sevland, Mayor of the City of Stavanger.

"In 2008 Stavanger will present the most daring, adventurous, creative and exciting cultural project Norway can offer, both to ourselves and to a wider European audience. We will develop our region into a Free Port for cultural exchanges between Norway and Europe," he continues.

Daring projects
One of the highlights of the Stavanger 2008 programme is the land art project "The House, Boat, Pot, Knife and Thread". In it the American architect and theatre director Robert Wilson plans to organise a large-scale workshop and exhibition project focusing on The House, Boat, Pot, Knife and Thread crafts. This will be based on the extensive tradition of ceramics and pottery manufacturing in Sandnes, a participant town in Stavanger2008, and will also include all other types of handicraft represented in the region. The results will be exhibited in the varied and multifaceted landscapes of the Stavanger region. 

In another project Stavanger will invite prominent architects from Europe and elsewhere in the world to design buildings for the city centre and its transformation areas, all of which will be constructed. Wood will be shown to be a natural and pollution-free material and a renewable resource. The recycling of wood will be a parallel theme of the project.

Destination Stavanger
Stavanger is northern Europe’s largest wooden built city and was a pilot city during the European Architectural Heritage Year in 1975.  An area of the city known as "Old Stavanger" is particularly attractive and has received several Europa Nostra awards. The Stavanger region’s “cathedrals” are found in its magnificent countryside, its exciting cultural landscapes from the sea to the mountains, and in the unexpected encounters between culture and nature.

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