Athens: Unesco’s World Book Capital 2018

Athens chosen for its cultural infrastructure to celebrate books and literature.


Book lovers in Athens are in for a treat in 2018 as the city clinched the title of UNESCO World Book Capital. Each year a city is selected for the accolade by UNESCO and this time it’s Athens’ turn.

Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, has named Athens World Book Capital for 2018 on the recommendation of the program’s Advisory Committee.

The city of Athens was chosen for the quality of its activities, supported by the entire book industry. The proposed activity program includes meetings with writers, translators and illustrators, concerts, thematic exhibitions, poetry readings and workshops for publishing professionals.

The aim of the program is to make books accessible to the city’s entire population, including migrants and refugees. Members of the Advisory Committee also praised Athens’ cultural infrastructure and its expertise in organizing international events.

“Our warmest congratulations go to Athens, which put in a fantastic bid this year. This ancient city naturally corresponds with the values of the World Book Capital initiative, and I am sure will deliver an outstanding program in 2018″ stated IPA president, Richard Charkin.

Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake the promotion of books and readings and to organize activities over the year which start with the celebration of World Book and Copyright Day on April 23.

The Advisory Committee brings together representatives of UNESCO, the International Publishers Associations (IPA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). It recently met in Paris, at UNESCO’s Headquarters, to examine a record number of candidacies for the title of World Book Capital.

Athens is the 18th city to become World Book Capital. It was preceded by:

  • Madrid (2001)
  • Alexandria (2002)
  • New Delhi (2003)
  • Antwerp (2004)
  • Montreal (2005)
  • Turin (2006)
  • Bogota (2007)
  • Amsterdam (2008)
  • Beirut (2009)
  • Ljubljana (2010)
  • Buenos Aires (2011)
  • Yerevan (2012)
  • Bangkok (2013)
  • Port Harcourt (2014)
  • Incheon (2015)
  • Wroclaw (2016)
  • Conakry (2017)


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