Capital of Culture will not go into 2006

FARO NATIONAL Capital of Culture (FNCC) has an assured programme of events until the end of this year, but will not continue into the first quarter of 2006. The announcement was made by FNCC steering committee leader, António Rosa Mendes, at a public debate held recently in Faro. The announcement put an end to hopes that the programme would continue until the end of April next year.

Since the outset, the FNCC has been beset by problems, including lack of funding, and budgetary cuts have been suggested as one of the main reasons for the initiative not to run into the new year. In January, the FNCC steering committee announced that it had just over one million euros, which meant that it was below the FNCC target by over three-and-a-half million euros.

Recently, talking to the Expresso newspaper, Rosa Mendes complained that he was “working on a shoe string”. At the debate, entitled ‘Faro National Capital of Culture – An Opportunity (Nearly) Lost?’, Rosa Mendes also stated that the entire programme had never gone over budget, despite available funds being far less than had been hoped.

He also reminded those present that, when he took over the reigns of the FNCC steering committee, both funds and programming stood at absolute zero. He further stated that he did not want to use lack of preparation time to justify mistakes, but emphasised that the committee “did what it had to do and developed a programme in record time”.