ROME: Italy will be the guest of honor at the International Book Fair in Algiers from March 24-31.
Its nomination was announced by Algerian Minister of Culture and Arts Wafaa Chaalal, who described Italy as “a neighbor and friend … known for its prolific cultural production.”
She discussed the fair and other upcoming cultural initiatives with Italy’s Ambassador to Algeria Giovanni Pugliese.
Italian diplomatic sources told Arab News that the decision to make Italy the guest of honor was taken by Algeria’s government after Italian President Sergio Mattarella’s state visit in November 2021. “As such, it’s of particular relevance from a political point of view,” a source said.
“The book: A continent” is the title of the fair, which will be hosted at the Palais des Expositions in Algiers.
It is being organized by the Culture Ministry under the patronage of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and will showcase around 800 publishers in Algeria that publish in Arabic and French.
The exhibition will be the first big cultural event in Algeria since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As such, Tebboune has exempted all participating publishing houses from the cost of renting spaces “in order to promote and develop cultural production, to encourage readability, to achieve sustainable development goals based on building the human being and creating a new awareness that guarantees the values of citizenship and cultural justice and consolidates the civilizational identity of the Algerian people,” according to the fair’s website.
Italy’s national stand will include an exhibition and a bookshop.