Art And Culture

Books to Come Back After Tehran Boycotts Frankfurt Event

Books to Come Back After Tehran Boycotts Frankfurt EventBooks to Come Back After Tehran Boycotts Frankfurt Event

With Iran’s decision to boycott the 67th Frankfurt Book Fair, the books sent to the exhibition will be returned to the country.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Hossein Noushabadi, was emphatic about Iran’s decision to withdraw from the fair and said the books, which were sent to the exhibition will be brought back, “although a number of publishers, publishing guilds and the ministry spent a lot of time on preparation for the event,” he said, quoted by Mehr News Agency.

Last week, organizers of the book fair announced that Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, would give the keynote address as guest speaker at the fair.

Rushdie’s blasphemous 1988 novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ provoked global Muslim outrage and a fatwa calling for his death was issued by Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.

Iran had asked the organizers of the world’s largest event in the publishing industry to call off the plan to invite Rushdie.

However, the fair’s director of press, corporate and communication, Katja Bohne, said there were no plans to cancel Rushdie’s speech, “given the significance of freedom of expression for authors and the book industry.” The Frankfurt Book Fair supports freedom of expression, Bohne told the media, and added that the organizers “do not expect any country to withdraw from the book fair due to Rushdie’s speech.”

Noushabadi said Iran’s decision was wise and “we will submit a complaint on the issue for visitors’ information.” Even if Iran has to boycott the future editions of the fair, “we will do so and not accept the desecration of Islam.”

Juergen Boos, director of the fair, said in a statement: “We very much regret the Iranian Ministry of Culture’s cancellation and hope that it is just a brief interruption in the existing conversations and that we can continue to expand on the established relationships.

The FBF 2015 will take place from October 14 to 18. The event is a meeting place for the industry’s experts and a marketplace for books, media, rights and licenses worldwide. Publishers, booksellers, agents, film producers and authors all come together at the event.