Mytilene - Lesvos

European Capital of Culture 2021 Candidate City

The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it has the opportunity to promote its cultural heritage and wealth. Many European cities took advantage of their time as Capitals of Culture to develop their cultural infrastructure and to display their cultural identity for a global audience.

On July 13th 1985 the European Council of Ministers adopted the idea of designating an annual Capital of Culture to bring Europeans closer together. The idea was conceived by Melina Mercouri, then Greece’s Minister of Culture. The people of Europe have embraced this idea and recognize its positive contribution to the common cultural, economic and social development and prosperity

A Greeting by Konstantinos Astyrakakis
Deputy Mayor for Culture and Tourism, Municipality of Lesvos

The love of beauty, the appreciation of great art, the quality and spiritual quest – elements of a historic past – permeate the centuries from ancient times to the present day. They guide the people of this island towards cultural activities that defy population statistics. This quality and peaceful, timeless, perspective, exhibited by the islanders, instruct their calm and humane attitude of solidarity towards the heavy burden of the immigration crisis suddenly laid upon their shoulders. Committed to timeless European values and honoured with a new distinction as Capital of Solidarity, we are called upon to compete for one more title: the 2021 European Capital of Culture. We wish to transmit this spirit, our tradition, and our contemporary cultural elements. We look towards our mutual home, Europe, and we want to establish cooperation and collaboration as a signal of extroversion and shared action.

With innovative ideas, we can achieve these goals.

Watch the video of the presentation
of the candidacy of Mytilene-Lesvos
for European Capital of Culture 2021
at the Acropolis Museum


Be a Volunteer

Everyone’s contribution is of crucial importance if we are to achieve our goal. This is a celebration for Lesvos and a great honour for our island, not only during the application process but in the years to come. The addition of your name on the list of volunteers will greatly assist the candidacy of our homeland.


Our Volunteers