Books are still a very special priority with the Culture Ministry, Culture Minister Corina Suteu (photo L) told the opening on Wednesday of the 11th edition of the Bookfest Bucharest International Book Fair.
“As far as we, the Culture Ministry, are concerned, books are still a very special preoccupation, all the more so as we notice there is currently a drop in interest in reading and an overall decrease in the interest in what reading may bring in terms of spiritual enrichment and enlightenment,” said Suteu.
She added that there may be a future for the idea to create a Book Centre. “Perhaps not under a short tenure as mine, but nonetheless it is an idea I believe should be launched. The idea of establishing a Book Centre, the same as we have a Filmmaking Centre, may encourage and continue efforts deployed by libraries and publishing houses so that reading may become once again a preoccupation with the young people,” said Suteu.
She pointed out that there is currently interest in images that transcends films, and books in their turn should stay “a kind of intellectual experience that in fact structures us differently.”
Hailing Israel, Bookfest’s guest of honour, Suteu said “in fact, globalisation is nothing more than an opportunity to rediscover that we are all a big culture where each of us finds his or her belongingness.”
In his turn, Chairman of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) Radu Boroianu highlighted ICR’s support for Bookfest, saying that ICR “has set, for more than one year, to support with all its might (…) everything that is Romanian creativity so that it may project it as a true picture of the values of this territory.”
“Culture in a massive, larger sense, as a notion should remain the constant preoccupation of all the state officials. I strongly believe in the capability of a smart state of getting a nation out of crisis,” said Boroianu.
Israel’s Ambassador to Romania H.E. Tamar Samash (photo C) voiced satisfaction over Israel’s presence in the Bookfest as a guest of honour. Ms. Tamar Samash invited the reading public to discover Israeli literature, highlighting its diversity.
“Starting from the ‘Never stop dreaming’ slogan, we are inviting the book lovers to our stand for five days to attend a series of interesting events to be held by the six invited Israeli authors. Last but not least, we are marking the Children’s Day in an invitation to the ‘Dream Factory’ and other events for the little ones,” said Samash, according to Agerpres.
Presidential adviser on cultural affairs Sergiu Nistor presented Chairman of the Association of Romania’s Book Editors Grigore Arsene a diploma whereby President Klaus Iohannis bestows his high aegis on this edition of Bookfest, “in recognition of the cultural qualities of the event and particularly of its social role and mission.”
“Romania’s President, who is quite parsimonious when it comes to bestowing high aegis, does this dedication every time it is about a cultural event that is a sap source for the society. In this case, the book is the core, the object of this event; we want to say that thousands of years since the first book, the book is still the place where we derive our spiritual dimensions and ideas from, an instrument we can use to share ourselves with the others,” said Nistor.
Arsene thanked the Education Ministry for support to promote reading in schools and the participation of children in Bookfest events, adding that probably in two years’ time the fair could be hosted in a proper space for a book trade fair such as the Romexpo pavilions under construction.
Also attending the opening of Bookfest was Moldova’s Deputy Culture Minister Igor Sarov.
Displayed at the 11th edition of Bookfest, June 1-5 at Romexpo, are current best sellers offered by more than 200 publishing houses.
Open hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 10:00hrs – 20:00hrs; Friday and Saturday 10:00hrs – 21:00hrs. Admission is free.
Bookfest is organised by the Association of Romania’s Book Editors under the aegis of the Federation of Romania’s Book Editors with support from the Ministry of Culture and in partnership with the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research.
14 Heads of Mission of Arab countries inaugurate “Window to the Arab World”
H.E. Mr. Saad Mohamed Al-Kobaisi, Ambassador of Qatar to Romania, the Dean of the Council of the Arab Ambassadors in Bucharest, together with 13 Heads of Mission of Arab countries accredited in Romania, inaugurated on Wednesday “Window to the Arab World”, the Arab Stand in Bookfest 2016. The program of activities at the Arab Stand includes a poetry marathon, book signings, workshops and special activities for children.