Norwegian city Bodø was recommended in Brussels on September 25 for the European Capital of Culture 2024 title as a city from outside the EU. The finalists, besides Bodø, were Banja Luka and Mostar. The selection ceremony was participated by Mayor of Banja Luka Igor Radojicic and the City of Banja Luka ECoC 2024 project team members.
Commenting on the voting results, Radojicic said that passing the preselection phase of the competition was already a huge success and that three years ago only few believed that Banja Luka would reach this competition phase and compete in Brussels for this flattering title.
- We haven`t been selected this time, but we would like to congratulate our friends from Norway on the 2024 tile and wish them luck in the implementation of this project. The City of Banja Luka would also like to thank all participants in this action, the team that was working diligently on the project for the previous two and a half years, and also our friends from Bihac and Jajce, who were our partners in the project, Radojicic said in his first statement for the press after the ceremony.
He also added that seeing so many people of different orientations unite around this idea in Banja Luka was fantastic. Mayor Radojicic also added that great work had been done in the previous 2,5 years.
- We received huge suppport and had expectations not only from cultural, but from other sectors as well. Our project was excellent, and yesterday we had also a great presentation. It is hard to say what was that tiny detail that prevailed and affected the final decision. That is the question for the jury. It may be that the sense of safety is somehow automatically more attached to Norway than to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but now we can only make guesses. However, I am sure that our project was profesionally and excellently developed and there are many other opportunities and tasks ahead of us, so it is time to move on, Mayor concluded.