Guimaraes, Maribor named 2012 capitals of culture

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The Portuguese city of Guimaraes and Maribor in Slovenia were chosen Tuesday as the European capitals of culture for 2012.

A city holds the title for one year, during which it organizes events that are intended to show off Europe’s cultural richness and diversity, and can attract revenue from tourism.

The European Commission said it had also selected the greater area of Marseille-Provence, covering 130 towns and villages in southern France, and Kosice in eastern Slovakia as the capitals of culture for 2013.

The Lithuanian capital of Vilnius and Linz in Austria are this year’s capitals. The Commission had already opted for Istanbul, Essen and Pcs in 2010 and Turku and Tallinn in 2011.

Writing by Bate Felix