The national jury appointed by the Minister of Culture, and chaired by Bernard Faivre d'Arcier, heard the nine municipalities and groups of municipalities shortlisted for the first edition of the label «Capitale française de la culture». The nine shortlisted candidates were:

  • The Communauté d'agglomération GrandAngoulême,
  • The City of Brest,
  • The City of Laval,
  • The City of Le Mans,
  • The City of Metz,
  • The City of Saint Paul of Reunion,
  • The City of Sète,
  • The Val Briard Community of Communes,
  • The City of Villeurbanne.

Following these hearings, the jury deliberated and conveyed its opinion to Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, Minister of Culture, who is pleased to award the label «French Capital of Culture» for the year 2022 to the city of Villeurbanne.

«First of the «second cities of France» as it likes to call itself, Villeurbanne, rich in its industrial history, young and growing city, has chosen youth as the strength and target of its urban cultural project. The City intends to renew its tradition of popular education and innovate in its arts and cultural education activities. It intends to rely on its little-known heritage, its associative strengths as well as on the major cultural institutions and academic resources present in its territory.”

The Minister of Culture congratulates the city of Villeurbanne. This label will give a horizon for the entire territory of Villeurbanne and will stimulate public and artistic commission. It will be a source of pride for its inhabitants and a formidable lever of territorial dynamism.

The award of this label is accompanied by funding of one million euros, provided equally by the Ministry of Culture and the Caisse des Dépôts for this first edition. The Caisse des Dépôts is convinced that culture, a job-creating sector, is one of the engines of recovery. The cultural economy irrigates many other sectors such as tourism, hotels and restaurants, which are currently the sectors most affected by the health crisis. The label «French Capital of Culture» will contribute to the territorial renewal of this economy.

The Minister of Culture thanks all the municipalities or groups of municipalities that have applied for this first edition of the label «French Capital of Culture». These communities carry ambitious projects and look to the future by putting arts and culture at the heart of their strategies. It asked its decentralized services as well as the general delegation for transmission, territories and cultural democracy to accompany them in the development of their cultural projects.

The label “French Capital of Culture” distinguishes every two years the cultural project of a municipality or a group of municipalities of 20,000 to 200,000 inhabitants. The award of the label is accompanied by funding of one million euros, at parity between the Ministry of Culture and the Caisse des Dépôts, for this first edition which will take place in 2022.

The label “French Capital of Culture” is a project led and funded by the Ministry of Culture with the support of the Caisse des Dépôts, and implemented by the Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais (Rmn- GP). This project also benefited from the mobilization of the Ministries of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Economy, Finance and Recovery, Territorial Cohesion and Relations with Local and Regional Authorities, as well as all associations representing elected representatives of local authorities.

The label in brief

• 1 label: «French Capital of Culture»

• 1 average city or a group of municipalities of 20,000 to 200,000 inhabitants designated every two years

• EUR 1 million for the selected cultural project

• 1 Capital designated in March 2021 for a first edition in 2022

The biographies of the jury members are available on the website:

About the Caisse des Dépôts Group

Caisse des Dépôts and its subsidiaries are a public group, a long-term investor serving the general interest and the economic development of the territories.

It brings together five areas of expertise: pensions and professional training, asset management, subsidiary and equity monitoring, corporate financing (with Bpifrance) and the Bank of the Territories.