The Finnish city of Oulu will be the European Capital of Culture in 2026 after beating off competition from two other domestic rivals.
It won over the panel of judges with a project focussing on sustainability and local participation.
Oulu was preferred to bids from Savonlinna and Tampere.
The European Capital of Culture is an initiative that has seen cities put themselves on the map with a year-long celebration of art and culture.
Oulu won with a project promising “cultural climate change”, focussing on the participatory nature of art and culture.
“After the pandemic, it is extremely important that we collaborate, that we make things in an interesting way and use culture as a uniting element in our everyday life,” said Piia Rantala-Korhonen, director of the department of international affairs at Oulu City.
Home to some 200,000 inhabitants — and Nokia — Oulu is the capital of North Ostrobothnia in northern Finland.