Neal Peirce reports on the region and how it managed to rebound.
"[T]oday this same Ruhr area is breathing fresh with high culture and popular art. Amazingly, it won coveted recognition by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers as a "European Capital of Culture" for 2010.
Indeed, where blast furnaces did their polluting work and molten iron once flowed, a stunning array of artists of all genres have been performing this year. Many of their stages have been the massive settings of the very mining and steel plants of yesteryear, a juxtaposition of today's human talent with yesterday's towering gaunt forms of raw industrial power."