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Do it your own way, say culture experts.

Byline: Laura Davis

LIVERPOOL'S identity should be the focus of its Capital of Culture year, previous holders of the title warned last night.

Its culture leaders must avoid organising a carbon copy of the events held by other European cities, they advised.

The six directors of previous years of culture from throughout Europe were visiting Liverpool yesterday to share their expert advice.

Between them, they masterminded the programmes for Stockholm, Helsinki, Graz, Copenhage n, Glasgow, Antwerp and Rotterdam.

Trevor Davies, director of Copenhage n's year in 1996, said: ``The programme for 2008 has to be very Liverpudlian.

``It has to stand out from what is happening everywhere else and be obviously from Liverpool and the local people.''

Robert Palmer, who directed both Glasgow's year in 1990 and the Brussels celebration a decade later, said Liverpool's biggest mistake would be to ignore the city's troubles.

He said: ``The story of a city's transfo rmation is one that has not been told.

``Liverpool should not forget,or try to hide its problems of the past because they are the same ones that other European cities are now having to deal with and they could learn from Liverpool's experiences.

'' The visitors are taking part in three days of talks with Liverpool's culture team to explain how they put together their artistic programmes and to share their successes and pitfalls.

They took part in a question and answ er session with the Liverpool Culture Company stake holders -the community and arts organisations and indi vi duals which backed the city's winning bid. Sir Bob Scott, Liverpool's bid leader, said: ``To have so many people with so many skills and experience of hosting Capital of Culture celebrations is unique.

``Never before has such a skill-sharing and fact-finding event been staged We can learn a lot from them. We will be outlining our preliminary plans for the run up to 2008 and for the year itself. Their advice and guidance will be in valuable. `` David Henshaw, Liverpool City Council chief executive, said: ``The massive economic boost that Capital of Culture will bring to the city was one of the main reasons why Liverpool won the bid.

``I will be interested to hear from other cities how they maximised the number of jobs, the in vestment and economic benefits .''

Culture snub -Page 15

CAPTION(S):

CAPITAL EXPERIENCE: Trevor Davies,Georg Dolivo and Robert Palmer in Liverpool yesterday Picture: EDDIE BARFORD
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2003
Words:403
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