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The Universal Forum of Cultures (Catalan: Fòrum de les Cultures, Spanish: Fórum de las culturas) is an international cultural event intended to take place every three years. This event is organized by Forum Foundation.

The first Forum was held in Barcelonamarker, Spainmarker from May 9 to September 26, 2004. It was organized by Barcelona's local council, the regional government (the Generalitat de Catalunya), the Spanish National Government and UNESCOmarker. It was conceived by Catalan prime mover (Pasqual Maragall, then Mayor of Barcelona) as a way of promoting the city's burgeoning tourist industry in the wake of the 1992 Summer Olympics. The official aims of the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures included support for peace, sustainable development, human rights and respect for cultural diversity. However, many NGOs (including Greenpeace and Amnesty International) criticised the event for failing to live up to these lofty ideals and boycotted it as a result.

The event was controversial, with critics pointing to the $2.3 billion price tag and commercial sponsorship by multinationals (Endesa, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Telefónica, and Indra) with dubious reputations in the Third World. Several groups also criticised the massive property and coastline destruction involved in building the Forum site. This may explain why the Forum fell so far short of its projected attendance figures for the 141-day event. The forecasts were progressively scaled back from 25 million at the planning stage, to 7 million and then 5 million during the event. The official final attendance figure was around 3.5 million, although even this figure is hotly disputed.

The 2007 Universal Forum of Cultures was held in Monterreymarker, Mexicomarker. The event promoted Native American and "White" cultures.

For the third edition (2010), candidate cities were Chicagomarker (USAmarker), Amsterdammarker (The Netherlandsmarker), Fukuoka (Japanmarker), Alexandriamarker (Egyptmarker), Suwonmarker and Gwangjumarker (South Koreamarker), Santiago de Chilemarker and Valparaísomarker (Chilemarker), Budapestmarker (Hungarymarker) and Durbanmarker (South Africa). Valparaísomarker, Chilemarker was selected as host for the 2010 Universal Forum of Cultures.Naplesmarker, Italymarker was selected as host for the 2013 Universal Forum of Cultures.

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