Following the evaluation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has designated Strasbourg (France) as World Book Capital for 2024.
”In uncertain times, many are turning to books as a refuge and a source of dreams. Indeed, books have the unique ability both to entertain and to teach. This is why we must ensure everyone has access to knowledge and reflection through books and reading. This is why, each year UNESCO designates a world book capital. After Guadalajara in 2022, and Accra in 2023, I am pleased to announce the designation of Strasbourg as World Book Capital for 2024.”
-- Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General
UNESCO and the World Book Capital Advisory Committee were impressed by Strasbourg’s strong focus on books to meet the challenges of social tensions and climate change, with programs like 'Reading for the Planet’. The city emphasizes books’ ability to encourage debate and discussion of environmental concerns and scientific knowledge, focusing on young people as agents of change.
Strasbourg was also commended for its literary heritage and the activities it organized highlighting many artistic disciplines, from music, to theatre and illustration. The city has significant experience of organizing large-scale outward-looking events.
The year of celebrations will start on 23 April 2024, on World Book and Copyright Day.
About the world book capitals
Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake to promote books and reading for all ages and groups, within and across national borders, and to organize a programme of activities for the year.
As the twenty-fourth city to bear the title since 2001, Strasbourg follows Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Erevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014), Incheon (2015), Wroclaw (2016), Conakry (2017), Athens (2018), Sharjah, (2019), Kuala Lumpur (2020), Tbilisi (2021), Guadalajara (2022) and Accra (2023).
The UNESCO World Book Capital Advisory Committee comprises representatives of European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the International Authors Forum (IAF), the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), the International Publishers Association (IPA), and UNESCO.