CITY SPOTLIGHT ON SLAVERY; PLANS TO MARK SPECIAL COMMEMORATION WITH A YEAR-LONG PROGRAMME OF EVENTS TONY Blair Has Revealed National Commemorations to Mark the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery. Culture Reporter CATHERINE JONES Sees What Liverpool Has Planned

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Byline: CATHERINE JONES

LIVERPOOL'S commemorations to mark the abolition of slavery are on target to be the biggest in Britain.

A year-long programme of festivals, services, theatre performances and education initiatives is being drawn together around the subject of slavery.

The programme includes two major events, one in March to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Britain, and the other in August when National Museum Liverpool's new pounds 10m International Slavery Museum will be opened.

The importance of Liverpool's role in the commemorations has been underlined by Tony Blair, who invited representatives of the city to Downing Street this week for the launch of the national programme of events.

Organisers of Liverpool's commemorations say it may be 200 years since the slave trade was abolished, but the issue is still relevant to people today.

Kim Johnson, creative diversity manager at Liverpool Culture Company, said: "We want to lead the way in the international commemorations. …