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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Sir Paul backs city culture bid
The Royal Liver building, Liverpool
The bid includes plans for 50 international festivals
One of Liverpool's most famous sons has given his backing to the city's culture bid.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney said that Liverpool should not just be the capital of culture, but the "capital of the universe".

Liverpool is one of six cities competing for the title of European Capital of Culture 2008.

The details of the city's plans for the year - including 50 international festivals and 1,000 community events - were sent to the judges in London on Monday.

Other famous supporters of the city's bid include footballer Michael Owen, Ken Dodd, Willy Russell and Atomic Kitten.

The bid was flown on the first leg of its London trip by helicopter.

Paul McCartney
I support its claim to be not just a cultural capital of Europe, but the capital of the universe
Sir Paul McCartney
Proposals include the opening of the Fourth Grace, a museum of comedy unveiled in the city, an archive trail and a Liverpool anthem.

Sir Paul will be returning to his home city on 1 June for a concert at the Kings Dock.

He said: "Liverpool is most rich in the history of its architecture, music, its politics and much else besides.

"But most of all, Liverpool is rich in the spirit of its people and for that I support its claim to be not just a cultural capital of Europe, but the capital of the universe."

Liverpool city council leader Mike Storey said he was "delighted" that Sir Paul was backing the city.

Councillor Storey added: "We know he was always maintained very strong links with his home city and he clearly recognises that Liverpool deserves the title.

"His comments are heartfelt and a big spur for our bid."

The BBC's Andy Gill
"Liverpool's promising 50 international festivals and 1,000 community events"

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