European Capital of Culture in Focus: New York Times, BBC in Rijeka

Daniela Rogulj

September 5, 2019 – What’s cooking in Rijeka these days? A New York Times report and a show that will be broadcast primetime on BBC One. But that’s just part of it.  

Namely, Alex Crevar, an experienced journalist who regularly collaborates with The New York Times, National Geographic Travel and Lonely Planet, is currently visiting the 2020 European Capital of Culture, reports Novi List.

Crevar is exploring the city before it takes on the title of the European Capital of Culture next year. During his stay, Crevar visited all the major sites and institutions that will host and be part of the Rijeka 2020 program.

Crevar is apparently enjoying his visit so much, he extended his stay by three more days and will carry on in the Croatian city until the opening of the Porto Etno Festival on Friday.

Alex Crevar is hosted by Edi Jurković, chief communications officer for Rijeka 2020, who revealed everything that Rijeka, its residents, and all guests can expect in the year ahead, as well as the hidden and undiscovered charms of the city. The journalist was particularly impressed with the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc where he enjoyed browsing the ceiling paintings and the time capsule.

Crevar also spoke with Idis Turat, a well-known local architect, not only about the specifics of the city’s architecture, but also about the program direction of Sweet and Salt Rijeka 2020. Crevar also visited Tito’s ‘Galeb’ ship, whose story he found particularly interesting. The Galeb’s new life as a museum ship should surely be a draw for tourists, especially from America.

During his stay, Crevar will also speak with the city’s Mayor Vojko Obersnel, Culture Manager Ivan Šarar, and Rijeka 2020 Director Emina Višnić.

However, the New York Times is not the only foreign media in the city. We must not forget of the five-member British production team led by producer Ewan Chamberlain, who is reporting on Rijeka for one of the UK’s most important television channels, BBC One, and the Gateway TV show. 

“The report will be broadcast primetime on BBC One, followed by a replay on BBC Two which is visible in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and will then be available on their web platform. They arrived in Rijeka organized by the Croatian National Tourist Board, and of course, their main focus is Rijeka as the European Capital of Culture 2020,” said Dino Matešić of the Rijeka Tourist Board.

The British TV crew stayed in Rijeka for two days and visited many attractions including the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc, the ‘Galeb’, Korzo, the Trieste fortress, Rijeka cathedral, and the Governor’s Palace to see the original Titanic vest. They also visited the unique Peek&Poke computer museum and the Astronomy Center.

“They even visited the future Art Quarter, that is, the ex Benčić complex, and a really special experience was the trip to the fish market and the plaza,” says Matešić , adding that they plan to visit Krk and Opatija.

In mid-August, a major report was published by Die Welt, one of Germany’s most circulated dailies, and French Le Monde and Italian Rai also have plans to visit, focusing on the large exhibition ‘D’Annunzio’s Martyr’, which will open in mid-September in the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral, that is, the Governor’s Palace, which thematizes D’Annunzio’s occupation of Rijeka, which happened exactly one hundred years ago.

All in all, as the year 2020 approaches, or the takeover of the prestigious title of the European Capital of Culture, numerous foreign journalists, bloggers, and tourism professionals are increasingly visiting Rijeka. This is the result of intensive work on the international promotion of Rijeka 2020, joined by the Croatian National Tourist Board, the Tourist Board of both the City of Rijeka and Kvarner, and the Rijeka 2020 company.

Thus, in the past year, Rijeka has been visited by media teams including Irish Daily Mirror, The Times, National Geographic Traveler UK, Le Télégramme, The Mail on Sunday, Magazin Catholic Digest, Magazin Auto Touring, Giornale Sentire, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times.

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