Rijeka, Croatia: this year's Capital of Culture is rising above the pandemic
Covid-19 rained catastrophically on the 2020 European Capital of Culture's parade, but its shown much grit and creativity anyway, writes Linda Cookson
Your heart has to go out to Rijeka. The start of the year saw Croatia's third-largest city brimful of optimism and confidence. After unexpectedly pipping both Dubrovnik and Split to the post to be designated the country's first European Capital of Culture, the port was poised to dazzle new audiences with a show-stopping programme of events.
Instead, with the spent firework cartridges from February's opening ceremony barely swept up from the quayside, the pandemic rained all over Rijeka's parade. Lockdown restrictions, border closures and the cancellation of public events threatened to bring the party to an end before it had begun...