It is important not to bypass the challenges that surround a European Capital of Culture hosting process. For Liverpool one of the greatest challenges was the fear that by focusing to such an extent on generating media attention and attracting tourists, the city may loose some of its authentic voice. There was also the danger of putting too much emphasis on the established cultural institutions at the expense of the more alternative voices. The debate is still out there.
There were also discussions about the leadership of an event like this. In Liverpool there was no Artistic Director in charge of the vision for the Capital of Culture year. It was difficult and it led to critisism within the artistic community here and elsewhere in Europe. Others however claimed that it was empowering because it forced the city to act more collectively and it brought forward interesting conversations with many different groups that otherwise may not have taken place. It is interesting to observe these ambivalences.