Slovenia's second-largest city, Maribor, might have to give up its title European Capital of Culture three months early, because the city has run out of money for the 4,000 cultural events that the title entails, local media reported on Thursday.
''If the city doesn't come up with the 5.2 million euros it owes us within a week, we will have to stop all cultural events,'' said Susana Zilic Fiser, who is the artistic director of the year-long festival that qualifies Maribor as European Capital of Culture 2012.
The mayor has asked organizers to cut down on scheduled events, and while some plays and exhibitions have been canceled, other contracts have been signed and artists have been hired.
Organizers argued that Maribor should come up with the money because the city benefited from the prestigious festival, which attracted 1.5 million tourists. It shares this year's title with the city of Guimares, in Portugal.