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Athens Steps in as World Book Capital 2018

Athens is set to become a reader’s paradise as of April 23, when it steps in as World Book Capital for 2018, during a special inauguration event at the Acropolis Museum.

Athens World Book Capital 2018 will be opened by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Monday, and will be followed at 7.45pm by music events and reading happenings along the Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrian walkway at the foot of the Acropolis. At 10pm the Irodion Theater will host a free event dedicated to poetry and literature.

For a year starting on Monday, Athens will mark the global UNESCO cultural event with more than 250 book-related events across town including reading happenings, seminars and conferences, workshops and competitions, activities for adults and kids. Events will include book readings in unexpected locations for passers-by and round table discussions with beloved Greek and foreign authors.

“The event aims to inspire, create and offer incentives for reading… We want books to be available in every neighborhood, for all the city’s residents through more than 250 events planned over the next 12 months,” said Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis during a press conference at City Hall this week ahead of the official launch.

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis.

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis.

Under the slogan “Books Everywhere”, internationally acclaimed authors including Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller, Ian McEwan, George Saunders and John Connolly as well as Greek representatives of the arts, literature, music and culture will be participating in Book Year events.

Meanwhile, a mobile library will be traveling through Athens neighborhoods in May offering access to books.

Small bookshops will celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on April 28, and readers can enjoy a “picnic with books” at Kotzia Square.

Athens World Book Capital for 2018 is made possible with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Athens takes over from Conakry, Guinea, and the city of Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates will in turn take over from Athens in 2019.

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