Sunday, 20. 12. 2015

Ljubljana, City of Literature

On 11 December 2015, Ljubljana received the permanent title City of Literature awarded by UNESCO to cities with rich cultural heritage and a thriving contemporary literary scene, which understand the significance of culture and books for sustainable development of the city.

At the announcement, the Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova stated that UNESCO Creative Cities Network serves as excellent proof that culture enables sustainable development and underlined that newly nominated cities and the countries they represent have significantly enriched the network.

In its application for the title Ljubljana committed itself to continue promoting rich literary life in the city (Slovenian Book Days, Library Under the Treetops, Vodnik Homestead, Ljubljana City Library, Slovene Book Fair…), offering shelter to literary artists from around the world by co-operating within the ICORN Network, advocating reading and access to books for all age groups and supporting the well-established library infrastructure. Among its main projects, Ljubljana supports the literary festival with distinguished foreign and domestic authors and the publishing of their works, within its continuing project Ljubljana Reads it is promoting Slovenian children’s books, reading within the family and book ownership, and it is opening a new children’s book festival and a literary centre in the Sugar Factory Palace where new contents in connection to books will be presented in an innovative way. As the main guest and the City of Literature Ljubljana is going to present itself at the book fair Book Fair(y) (Sa(n)jam knjige) in the Istrian Pula in November 2016.

In Edinburg the inclusion of Ljubljana into the City of Literature Network was accompanied by the following words: »We are delighted to welcome Ljubljana as a sister City of Literature. The application from Ljubljana was impressive and clearly it is a very vibrant, literary city and one that brings a new perspective and dynamic to our network. We very much look forward to forming close links between our cities and collaborating on projects in the years to come«, Ali Bowden, Director, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature.

This year, in addition to Ljubljana, the permanent title City of Literature has been awarded to Ulyanovsk (Russia), Bagdad (Iraq), Tartu (Estonia), Lvov (Ukraine), Barcelona (Spain), Nottingham (Great Britain), Óbidos (Portugal) and Montevideo (Uruguay). These cities have joined Edinburgh (Great Britain), Melbourne (Australia), Iowa City (USA), Dublin (Ireland), Reykjavik (Iceland), Norwich (Great Britain), Krakow (Poland), Dunedin (New Zealand), Prague (The Czech Republic), Heidelberg (Germany) and Granada (Spain). And so, there are already twenty cities from around the world holding the title UNESCO City of Literature.