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Ljubljana's year of the book

April 2010

Ljubljana is the tenth city to receive UNESCO’s Title - World Book Capital. Its 'mandate' will last from April 2010 to April 2011. This represents a very important opportunity to promote both the city and the country as a whole, since Ljubljana has long proclaimed itself a city of culture and civilisation.

Events

On 23 April 2010, Ljubljana became the World Book Capital in spectacular fashion, starting with the ceremonial raising of the flag outside the Town Hall and continuing at Križanke with an artistic production by Matjaž Berger, to be broadcast live on national television, conceived as a harmonious meeting of science, art and philosophy – all through the prism of the book.

A total of over 500 events will take place as part of the Capital programme.

The biggest event in the project is the literary festival taking place in May 2010 under the banner 'Literatures of the World: Fabula Festival', an event organised by the Študentska Založba academic press. The festival will reveal quite a number of literary expressions and aesthetics that are less well known in our environment.

At the end of the project, in 2011, the Chamber of Publishing, Bookselling, the Graphic Industry and Radio and Television Media will hold a conference in Ljubljana entitled World Book Summit 2011.

The programme section entitled The Book and the City will include 28 projects that will serve as an important complement to existing literary events that already take place in Ljubljana, such as the Slovenian Book Days and Vilenica. Some projects will emphasise the importance of reading by means of interventions in public areas (buses, trains, cafes, public spaces in the city). The organisers have also given our support to the socially responsible aspect of bringing books closer to vulnerable groups. They will be carrying out a project involving adaptation of the exhibition spaces and exhibits of the permanent collection of the City Museum for the needs of the blind and partially sighted.

Two projects, 'I Grow with a Book' and 'Ljubljana Reads' will continue and be expanded: three-year-olds will love A Polka-Dot Pot by Anja Štefan by Jelka Reichman, while first-year pupils are sure to enjoy the book of Slovenian fairy tales (and one German fairy tale) in comic strip form by Matjaž Schmidt.

The Capital project will also devote special attention to three of Slovenia's best-known writers: Boris Pahor, Svetlana Makarovič and Slavoj Žižek.

The section entitled The Book and Creativity in Fields of Culture will include 35 projects. There will also be theatre, dance and music performances and special exhibitions, all on the theme of the book and reading.

'Breakthroughs' and permanent elements that will remain in the city

The 'Books for Everyone' project, coordinated by the Ljubljana City Library

Around 20 titles from different genres will be published in impressions of at least 8,000 copies, while the retail price of a copy will be no more than three euros.

A permanent acquisition in terms of cultural infrastructure in autumn 2010 will be the Trubar House of Literature in Ribji Trg which will combine several functions: it will be a cultural and intellectual centre, a book club, the headquarters of a new web portal on literature and books, a gallery space and an information centre.

Within the context of the Capital event, the City of Ljubljana will also carry out a serious historical reflection. It will erect a monument to the Slovenian Reformation, open a new library in Zadvor and refurbish the library in Moste. The first specialist children's bookshop called “Kres pod Gradom” was opened on 28 April. In September, Ljubljana will get a new comic shop and, in this way, attempt to stimulate this genre.