Athens takes over as World Book Capital 2018 on World Book Day

Tuesday, 2018-04-24 07:13:55
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Beginning April 23, Greece’s capital -Athens- will be known as the “World Book Capital” for 2018, which is a global UNESCO cultural event. (Photo:Greekcitytimes)
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Athens marked World Book Day on April 23 with a celebratory event hosted at the Acropolis museum, as it took over as World Book Capital for 2018.

For an entire year starting on April 23, the World Book Day organized by UNESCO since 1995, the Greek capital will be at the center of an international campaign aimed at promoting reading.

Through a rich program of more than 250 book-related events across the city, including seminars, workshops, competitions and various activities for adults and kids, Athenians and visitors, Athens aims to bring books everywhere, in every corner, and spread the joy of reading.

The Greek capital takes over from the city of Conakry in Guinea and will pass the torch to the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates next year, as UNESCO's World Book Capital concept becomes stronger since its launch in 2001.

"In Athens today and across the world we celebrate books. We celebrate writing, reading, publishing and sharing books. All these activities enhance human beings," Ian Denison, Unesco Publishing and Branding Chief, told the inaugurating event for Athens World Book Capital on April 23 at the foot of the Acropolis hill.

"Athens is celebrating, Athens is reading books" is the main slogan of the yearlong celebration, Greek hosts said.

"Athens' journey starts. I would like to assure UNESCO that the choice of Athens was right, not only because of its history, but also thanks to its prospects," Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said, addressing the event.

Athens today is a destination of culture which has the infrastructure and passionate people who can share their love for knowledge which helps communication between cultures, the Greek leader stressed.

"The organizing of the Athens 2018 World Book Day is one more international acknowledgment for our city. We believe that we can take up the responsibility and make the most of the opportunity," Mayor of Athens Yorgos Kaminis added, urging locals and foreigners to join the festivities.

The celebration continued on April 23 with a concert by a flute quartet at the Acropolis museum and performances by the City of Athens Philharmonic Band and various artists along the pedestrian walkway at the foot of the Sacred Rock.

The Greek parliament building was also lit up on April 23 evening as part of the celebration.

Xinhua