Old rivalries flare up as the country’s two cultural heavyweights battle for the prestigious title.

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When Australia became a federation in 1901, its wealthiest city, Melbourne, got a cushy temp job as the capital. But when Australia gained nationhood in 1927, something went awry… For various political reasons, Melbourne

was passed over for the permanent position. Today, the city has compensated for this historic slight by becoming the capital of everything else. Welcome to Melbourne, Australia’s coffee capital, fashion capital, comedy capital, sporting capital…

But the most abundantly made – and widely accepted – claim is that Melbourne is Australia’s arts (or cultural) capital. Melbourne certainly has a thriving, varied arts scene, making it an excellent candidate for the title of Australia’s cultural capital.

But there is...

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