German FM Steinmeier opens Frankfurt Book Fair

4th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 October 2006, FRANKFURT - The Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest trade fair for books, was officially opened Tuesday evening by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Indian Minister for Human Resource Development Arjun Singh and Indian writer Mahasweti Devi. Steinmeier praised the diversity of India, with its 24 national languages and one billion people, as an example for Germany and Europe, and for being "one of the most dynamic economic regions in the world." Steinmeier called books th

4 October 2006

FRANKFURT - The Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest trade fair for books, was officially opened Tuesday evening by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Indian Minister for Human Resource Development Arjun Singh and Indian writer Mahasweti Devi.

Steinmeier praised the diversity of India, with its 24 national languages and one billion people, as an example for Germany and Europe, and for being "one of the most dynamic economic regions in the world."

Steinmeier called books the first and most common means of stimulating a "culture of dialogue."

Minister Singh said that in a world threatened by terrorism and misunderstanding, books can and should be used to bring people closer together.

The opening was scheduled to be followed on Tuesday evening by a gala concert in honour of India at Frankfurt's Alte Oper. Entitled "Dhwani: the resonance of India," the concert was billed as a mixture of Indian traditional, folk and modern performing arts.

Earlier book fair director Juergen Boos told a press conference that this year's event will feature more exhibitors than ever before in what he called "a barometer of the industry."

The 58th edition of the world's largest trade fair for books will see 7,272 exhibitors from 113 countries display almost 400,000 titles in the event running October 4-8.

A total 4 per cent more floor space was booked by exhibitors than last year, said the book fair's director Juergen Boos in the opening press conference. In particular the number of Asian exhibitors has grown, while small and medium German publishers are also more strongly represented.

All 13 hall levels were booked out and 283 agencies would be present in the Agents Centre and the film section's International Agents Centre. Germany has 3,288 exhibitors, followed by Britain with 803 and the US with 676. China has doubled its space.

The 2,500 programmed events and the attendance of around 1,000 authors will make the fair "a cultural event of superlatives," predicted Boos.

Speaking of India's status as Guest of Honour at this year's fair, Boos said that "worldwide, India is in the media spotlight: its economic development, political debate in and concerning India, the diversity of cultures in today's India fascinate the entire world."

He stressed that the event is "is all about the economic interests of the book industry," adding that "no other fair provides so many opportunities and chances to make contacts, to develop business ideas and to do deals."

The fair will also feature campaigns to encourage literacy and education.

Meanwhile it was announced that Canadian director Atom Egoyan won the book fair's prize for Best International Literary Film Adaptation for his film Where The Truth Lies.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article