World Book Capital City


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Amsterdam, World Book Capital City 2008

Amsterdam will be, after Madrid, Alexandria, New Delhi, Antwerp, Montreal, Turin and Bogota, the World Book Capital City in 2008.

awbs_en_mo.gif The Selection Committee met on June 8 2006 at the UNESCO's head office in Paris. The application of Amsterdam was preferred to that of seven other cities due to the quality, variety and international aspect of its programme. Involvement of all stakeholders in the book industry and the focus on the freedom of expression were appreciated too.

The programme of Amsterdam World Book capital City, called "Amsterdam Open Book", will be a lively, fun-packed programme for a wide audience, with events, festivals and exhibitions – a parade of fictional heroes and heroines, for example, who will then feature in their own exhibition. It takes as its starting point the historical and present-day position of the city of Amsterdam as a multicultural haven of printers and publishers, deeply convinced of the importance of intellectual freedom and sincere respect for all kinds of beliefs.

The programme is intended as an international contribution to promoting the book as a cultural vehicle for freedom. The main theme of Amsterdam Open Book is ‘openness’ and readers will be offered open access to an abundance of information. With this theme in mind, attention will be paid to issues such as how to combat illiteracy, promote reading and modernise educational materials.

The programme also focuses on the place of books and libraries in a digital era. The theme of ‘openness’ applies to the production side too, of course, so the programme will be especially relevant to writers and publishers. Aware of how rapidly the world is changing, Amsterdam Open Book will concentrate on international projects dealing with hospitality, self-censorship and cultural interaction. Also occupying an important place on the programme are issues of copyright and the qualityof the world wide web.

International symposia will provide a platform for the discussion of problems and threats in the world of books, looking at subjects such as the tension between authors’ rights and market forces, changes in reading habits, and the future of the book. Books are vehicles of culture, transmitting stories and ideas, but at the same time they can be entertaining, beautiful, informative and funny.

Read the article "Amsterdam: a paradise for book-lovers"

  • Amsterdam, World Book Capital City 2008

    File/document DECISION_2008.pdf

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