Liverpool to mark Capital of Culture 'milestone' with year of events

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The 2008 programme saw a 50ft (15m) mechanical spider, La Princesse, crawl through Liverpool

Liverpool is to celebrate a decade of “amazing success” since being European Capital of Culture with a year-long programme of “inspirational” events.

In 2008, Gustav Klimt paintings, Sir Paul McCartney and a 50ft mechanical spider all appeared in what the city council called a “game-changing year”.

An Irish culture festival, a weekend of cardboard castles and other events are planned to mark the “milestone”.

Mayor Joe Anderson said there will be some “incredibly special moments”.

Liverpool City Council said the majority of Liverpool 2018’s 40-plus events and festivals would be free and aimed at positioning “culture and creativity at the heart of all aspects of the city”.

The programme will include four “seasons”, which will focus around the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at the World Museum, the centenaries of the end of World War One and women being given the right to vote, the summer’s Fifa World Cup and the changing nature of Liverpool’s jobs market.

Alongside them, The Feis – a new annual festival of Irish culture – will be launched, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic will celebrate “all things piano” and French artist Olivier Grossetete will recreate “lost castles from across the city region in the exact places they once stood”.

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Olivier Grossetete’s cardboard castles have been shown worldwide

There will also be boosts for 14 of the city’s existing festivals, which will be “given additional resources” to create their “most eye-catching and ambitious line-ups to date”.

The Biscay Tall Ships Regatta, featuring a 30-strong fleet of tall ships, will return to the city for the fifth time.

A council spokeswoman said the authority was “currently in talks” about a return for the popular giant puppets, which paraded through the city in 2014.

Mr Anderson said it would be “another watershed year in the history of Liverpool”.

“Capital of Culture marked the start of something special, the last 10 years have been an amazing success story,” he said.

“The next 12 months will recognise the extraordinary cultural scene which takes place in this city day in and day out.”

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