The title of the European Capital of Culture in 2017 has led to a high quality programme which is now being implemented with great optimism, passion and vision.

The launching of Pafos 2017 European Cpatital of Culture and more importantly the programme as a whole is considered more as a starting point and not as an arrival.

Hosting the biggest European cultural initiative is a great honour for our small city of Pafos as well as a huge responsibility and prospect. After going through troubled waters, Pafos is now on a course for progress and growth. The European Capital of Culture institution is both a source of motivation as well as an opportunity for Pafos and the broader area to become a modern city and to reclaim the position it merits in Cyprus and Europe.

The initiative European Capital of Culture has run a significant course since its foundation in 1985. More than 50 cities have served as hosts, with the year-long events and actions contributing significantly to a generalized upgrade in cultural production and infrastructure, as well as a strengthening of the city’s reputation and its social bonds.

Upon being granted this title back in 2012, Pafos made this honour a responsibility as to everything it can achieve. The Organization Pafos2017 and its mission to bring to life the programme of the Open Air Factory is a stepping stone leading the city to new paths, mindsets and experiences. The Open Air Factory is an open invitation addressed to the artists, the citizens and the visitors of Pafos to come together and to co-create in different projects and networks. This will bring together different cities, countries and cultures, just like the motto “Linking Continents-Bridging Cultures” suggests.

Through a plethora of co-operations with future and past host countries– amongst others – and primarily the twin European Capital of Culture, Aarhus 2017 in Denmark, the programme aims at reinforcing Pafos’ place on the European cultural map.

At a time where differences in Europe and all over the world are on the rise, the European Capital of Culture Pafos2017 aims at bringing together people from all over the world, through a programme of more than 150 projects and 300 activities. The programme deals with aspects of our cultural heritage, as well as with broader human concerns and our European future.

We are most proud of this programme, not just because it was designed under difficult social and financial circumstances, but because it includes significant creators from Cyprus and the world, important works, high-quality productions from different cultures as well as works with a European outlook. I would like to thank all those who have contributed in compiling this programme, starting with the artists and the volunteers who worked during the preparation of Pafos’ bid. I would also like to thank all those who contributed to the finalization and actualization of the programme, the Artistic Director, the employees of Pafos2017, the members of the Board, our volunteers, the state authorities and institutions, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Government, the participating creators and social partners, our sponsors, and last but not least, everyone who embraced this vision and made their personal contribution to it.

My thanks extend to our partners in this effort, the Municipalities of Pafos, Geroskipou and Pegeia, and the communities of the broader Pafos district for their support of Pafos2017 and its programme.

It is my pleasure to invite all citizens of Pafos and its visitors to experience the extraordinary occasion of the European Capital of Culture Pafos2017 first-hand.


Dr Christos Patsalides