World Book Capital 2012

Thanks to Jen Robinson’s Book Page, I recently became aware that Yerevan, Armenia has been named the World Book Capital for 2012 by UNESCO.

As an Armenian, I am incredibly proud of this news. Armenia has a rich and troubled history, but it also has a beautiful culture deeply rooted in the arts and sciences.

UNESCO Press Release:

Yerevan is the twelfth city to be designated World Book Capital after Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010) and Buenos Aires (2011).

The city of Yerevan was chosen for the quality and variety of its programme, which is “very detailed, realistic and rooted in the social fabric of the city, focused on the universal and involving all the stakeholders involved in the book industry”, according to the members of the selection committee.

“I congratulate the city of Yerevan, which has presented a particularly interesting programme with many different themes, including the freedom of expression, as well as several activities for children, who will be the readers and authors of tomorrow”, said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. “Mobilizing the entire world of books and reading, from authors to printers and publishers, will undoubtedly help to make the Yerevan programme a major success, with a sustainable impact,” she added.

Every year, UNESCO and the three major international professional organizations from the world of books – the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Booksellers Federation (IBF) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) – designate a city as World Book Capital for one year, between two consecutive celebrations of World Book and Copyright Day (23 April). This initiative is a collaborative effort between representatives of the main stakeholders in the book industry, as well as a commitment by cities to promote books and reading.

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