Art And Culture

Guilds Will Run Book Fair From Next Year

Besides the strong presence of Italy at the fair, more cultural events have been organized in Tehran including an exhibition of exquisite books from All Saints’ Anglican Church of Rome at the National Library of Iran
Guilds Will Run Book Fair From Next YearGuilds Will Run Book Fair From Next Year

The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance is prepared to entrust all  executive affairs of the book fair to private sector guilds, Culture Minister Seyyed Reza Salehi Amiri said at the opening of the 30th Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) on Tuesday, at the Shahr-e-Aftab (Sun City) Exhibition Complex in southern Tehran.

“A major development at this year’s book fair is that most of the administrative affairs have been handed over to the guilds,” he said, adding that from next year, the entire event will be organized by the guilds (private sector) and the ministry, which has so far been in charge of running the fair, will only supervise the process, Mehr News Agency reported.

According to official statistics, 64,151 book titles were published in the country in 2012; in the following year the number rose to 66,514; in 2014 close to 74,000 titles were published and the total printed books reached 81,327 in 2015 with a 10% increase. Last year, over 88,000 titles were brought out.

  Italian President’s Message

Italy is the guest of honor at the 30th book event.

Addressing attendees at the opening ceremony, Italian Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism Antimo Cesaro read a message from President Sergio Mattarella who felicitated his Iranian counterpart on the opening of the annual cultural event.

“I am honored to extend my congratulations to President Hassan Rouhani on inauguration of Tehran International Book Fair which is hosting Italy as the guest of honor and I am also honored to recall that during our meeting in January, we contemplated on cultural issues,” the Italian leader said in the message.

Cesaro also conveyed felicitations of Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini on the occasion and quoted him as saying, “The presence of Italy at Tehran Book Fair marks a turning point in cultural relations between the two countries.”

  Development in Book Reading

The increase in publications indicates “a development in the field of books and book reading during the past five years,” Salehi Amiri further said. “In recent years, we have sought to strengthen the presence of Iran’s publishing industry in the international trade arena.”

Pointing to the progress this year regarding the participation of publishers from overseas, the minister said, “Unfortunately, due to the sanctions in the past decade, foreign publishers’ attendance was less at the annual book fair. However, after the nuclear deal with the six world powers in 2015, more countries from Europe and Asia are showing interest in the event.”

This year, Italy, as the guest of honor, has a strong presence in the fair. “Further, in order to enhance the international dimension of the fair, we have also added a city as the special guest. Istanbul in Turkey is the first city to be the guest of the TIBF this year,” he added.

Cesaro underlined that Italy’s presence would not be limited to the fairground. “We have organized other cultural events in Tehran including an exhibition of exquisite books from All Saints’ Anglican Church of Rome at the National Library of Iran.”

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani was also present on the occasion.

Another part of the event was dedicated to awarding the best local publishers of the past year in different sections of adult books and children’s books (private or state, in Tehran and other provincial cities).

Besides Italy, Germany is also participating with a large delegation of 18 publishers, a number of well-known writers and poets as well as cultural activists including representatives of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Covering an area of 135,000 square meters, the book fair will showcase more than 4,000 titles by over 2,700 domestic and foreign publishers.

Shahr-e-Aftab Complex, located 40 km south of Tehran, next to the Imam Khomeini mausoleum, is hosting the 30th TIBF for the second year. The fair is open from May 3-13.


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