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Wednesday, 1 October 2008


Despite the vile weather which has, if anything, got worse, the Culture Committee visit continued to be interesting and enjoyable.

A trip to the Le Corbusier exhibition in the crypt of Liverpool’s stunning Metropolitan Cathedral provided our first taster today. It was probably too informative in that its architectural pictures and models showed just how influential le Corbusier was on later catastrophic designs for council housing, especially tower blocks.

The final session was a round up by Liverpool City Council, including useful in-depth research by Liverpool University on the impact, including the economic impact, of the European Capital of Culture year on the city. I very much hope this study will be used by the European Commission and others to promote the idea of the European Capital of Culture and let European citizens know just how cultural activities can be used to boost regeneration.

Liverpool prides itself on being a “city on the edge”, so much so that it has got together with similar cities across Europe to celebrate their self styled status. The other ones are: Istanbul, Gdansk, Marseille, Naples and Bremen. So there you are.

And finally….one last word about the buildings in Liverpool. The Town Hall where we had our last meeting is a splendid example of 19th century municipal architecture, and is also very well looked after. The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall where we met the cultural organisations yesterday is a simple and striking art deco building while the Tate Liverpool gallery is located in a Victorian dock warehouse. A built environment to treasure.

As ever thanks to everyone who organised the visit: Stephen Salter and Caroline Boyle from the European Parliament, Geoff Brown from Euclid, the Liverpool based cultural contact organisation and all those who took time out to talk to us.

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