Art And Culture

Jannati Speaks at Moscow Int'l Book Fair

Jannati Speaks at Moscow Int'l Book FairJannati Speaks at Moscow Int'l Book Fair

Despite the rapid growth of online social networks and websites, books still hold a valued place in Iran, said Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati, at the opening ceremony of the Moscow International Book Fair (MIBF) in the Russian capital on Wednesday (September 2).

Iran is the guest of honor at this year's edition with free space of 300 square meters dedicated to publishers and cultural bodies to present their latest publications, and hold workshops on Persian calligraphy, miniature, and music, Tasnim News Agency reported.

The minister said books are the intellectual foundation of every society and a source of creativity and new ideas. "Attending book fairs and interacting with writers and intellectuals can influence people's attitude in how they perceive their society and the world."

As international book fairs are held annually in Iran and Russia, mutual interaction by attending the Tehran and Moscow events, helps enhance friendship and better understanding between the two nations, Jannati noted.

Pointing to the number of books published in Iran in 2014, he said: "Over one and a half billion copies of more than 72,000 titles were published last year, which suggests the high importance of books in the society."

Close to 4,200 publishers and 50,000 authors are active in Iran. There are more than 3,200 public libraries, which provide people with over 40 million books in the country, he said.

"Russian and Iranian authors and thinkers are aware of how deep the roots of culture and civilization of the two countries go." Iran and Russia are as old as human history and have contributed to global science and knowledge, Jannati said.

He named Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky and Alexander Pushkin from among Russian writers and poets who along with Iranian literati Sadi, Abul-Fadl Bayhaqi, Malek-o-Shoara Bahar, Nima Yooshij and Sohrab Sepehri have influenced global literature.

Although the two countries have cooperated in the field of culture and art, further cultural ties can expand, besides bilateral political and economic relations, he added.

The event will last until September 7.