“The dichotomous field between identity and change is a central European topic. I am convinced that Chemnitz can become a strong and fascinating Cultural Capital”, said Lord Mayor Barbara Ludwig. “And that’s why we have the courage and self-assurance to place the idea of becoming Cultural Capital on the agenda. In many ways, Chemnitz is a paradigm for modern Europe and its future.”

“In the past, our city has experienced painful fracture and deep-rooted change. But we have overcome these challenges. This shapes our mindset and turns Chemnitz into what it is today. We are not afraid of new things. On the contrary, we are, sometimes by necessity, a field of experimentation. And now more than ever it is a question of identity, affiliation and the management of change. This is a fact that we have experienced many times, even literally, with the name of our city. Change is therefore part of Chemnitz’s DNA, more than any other German city. And so we look forward to being discovered and to offering surprises.”

“Culture is far more than art. It includes sport, for example, physical culture, food, fashion, urban gardening, science, technology, pop culture and so much more”, says theatre director Dr Christoph Dittrich. “Culture includes the rituals of our everyday existence that we pass on to our children. If we manage to locate experts in all these areas in our city and to work with them to prepare a bid, then we will obtain a wonderful cross-section of everything that defines us. And together we have a story to tell that visitors from throughout Europe will find enthralling.”

“We will only become Cultural Capital if we do it together”, says Ferenc Csák, who was already in charge of a successful bid as Cultural Capital by a Hungarian city in 2010. “Now is precisely the right time to launch this kind of project. What counts is to develop an idea that highlights what is special about our city as a part of Europe. The programme in the Cultural Capital year should attract people from throughout Europe, make them curious to visit Chemnitz and at the same time breathe fresh life and inject a new quality into the combined forces of culture, education and urban development. It is imperative that the ideas have lasting effects. The shared bidding process and the legacy that remains beyond 2025 are at least as important as the events programme itself.”