Between the remains of a Gallo-Roman rampart, the Jacques-Coeur Palace and the half-timbered houses, the historic center illustrates the diversity of the cultural offer of Bourges (Cher). Only ten minutes walk from the city center, you will experience a complete change of scenery when you walk through the market garden marshes. Today classified and protected, they extend over 136 hectares and are cultivated in gardens by the inhabitants. The jewel, however, remains the Saint-Etienne cathedral, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, which has the specificity of having five portals.
Mainly known for this monument and for the Printemps de Bourges, the capital of Berry has a rich cultural heritage, which, according to its mayor, Yann Galut (PS), justifies the city’s candidacy for the title of European Capital of Culture 2028. The city councilor made the official announcement on Saturday, June 26, when the current music festival is being held, focused on the creation and emergence of young artists. Other municipalities, such as Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), Nice (Alpes-Maritimes) or Rouen (Seine-Maritime) are also candidates. The results will be known at the end of 2023. In 2028, a French city and another Czech will be named.
To support its candidacy, the town hall of Bourges also highlights the fact that the city, prefecture of Cher, hosts one of the six French national art schools, ENSA Bourges, specializing in visual arts. It collaborated with the cultural association l’Antre Peaux to highlight contemporary art through Bourges Contemporain, which brings together fourteen exhibitions this year – which can be visited until September 19. In September, the new Maison de la culture will be inaugurated, comprising two cinemas, a rehearsal room and two performance halls. The city had hosted the second Maison de la culture (after Le Havre, in 1961), inaugurated by André Malraux, in 1963.
A “new Villa Medici in Europe”
Between contemporary art, music festival, visual arts and historical heritage, Bourges intends to play the card of diversity. The mayor plans to base the candidacy of Bourges on the importance given to artists. The objective is to create housing and workshops intended for them, but also to take an interest in their social status or even their health. Yann Galut would like his city to become a “European city of artists” and a high place of creation and artistic collaboration. He does not hesitate to say that his ambition is to make it “New Villa Medici in Europe”.
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