Capital of Culture: Cosenza, licking its wounds after the rejection

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By John

For Cosenza, the dream of becoming the Italian capital of culture in 2026 is fading. And a few days earlier than the date by which the selection of the ten finalist cities was set, that is, tomorrow. In fact, yesterday the communication arrived from the competent Ministry according to which the council called to evaluate the projects attached to the applications proceeded with the screening of the competing locations, eliminating six of the sixteen remaining in the running.

The ten cities remaining in the running

And among those excluded, unfortunately, is also the capital of Bruzio, while on March 29th Agnone (Isernia), Alba (Cuneo), Gaeta (Latina), L’Aquila, Latina, Lucera (Foggia), Maratea, Rimini, Treviso and the Union of Valdichiana Sienese municipalities (Siena). Disappointment was spreading yesterday in the corridors of Palazzo dei Bruzi, if only because the municipal administration had produced an ambitious dossier full of identifying elements, linking the numerous construction sites started, destined to completely change the face of Cosenza, to the historical roots of the territory , thanks to the funding of the CIS, the institutional development contracts and the Urban Agenda. The mayor, Franz Caruso, believed so much in this prestigious title, also deciding to involve more subjects in a prospective framework of collective growth.

Caruso doesn’t give up

The tenant of the Town Hall, however, does not give up and, on the contrary, relaunches: «We were not admitted to the final – he states – but our path for the socio-cultural and economic rebirth of Cosenza continues». Of course, the mayor says he is bitter, «also because an important and valid project had been put in place – he insists – in which many of us believed and which was strongly supported by large sectors of civil society, by many institutions and socio-economic bodies. -cultural and of the Calabrian ruling class, including our parliamentarians, many of the centre-right. I thank everyone and I invite everyone to continue supporting Cosenza’s path to rebirth, which however does not stop. On the contrary, starting from the dossier “From dreams to signs” (the title given to the application for candidacy, ed.) we will move forward quickly to make a radical change of quality and prestige in our city and for our community.”

The various meetings in the Municipality

Concepts reiterated on more than one occasion by the mayor, not least in the meeting held in the presence of fellow mayors invited to Palazzo dei Bruzi to extend the possible achievement of the goal to the entire provincial territory, and then again meeting the delegates of the Rotary Clubs, involving them for the same reason.
«Cosenza’s candidacy project as Capital of Culture 2026 – recalls Caruso – started from the many signs of change already visible and tangible in our territory, the result of the great co-planning activity carried out in preparation for the Cis funding, from Agenda Urbana, of the Pnrr and the Neighborhood Contracts which are about to change the face of the city, starting from the building, social and cultural redevelopment of its historic center and its suburbs. Signs that have made us cherish a dream which, despite the suspension of the candidacy, continues to be realized.
And, in fact, our aspiration is to revive in our culturally suited territory, that climate of strong intellectual impulse and ferment, lively and dynamic, which made it the Athens of Calabria, the city of Telesio and the Cosenza Academy, to project ourselves into the new dimension of the Mediterranean’s gateway to Europe, naturally assigned to us by the strategic position that the territory occupies, located in the center of the Mediterranean”.

Future challenges

«We will carry forward the challenge – concludes Mayor Franz Caruso – following the strategy of rebirth co-planned and co-organised with citizens and local stakeholders, preparing the way for a different future for a community which must find the lever of social inclusion and the driving force for its development”.