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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

April 23 is World Book and Copyright Day

By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright. 

© UNESCO 2011
23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.

The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold. The success of the World Book and Copyright Day will depend primarily on the support received from all parties concerned (authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media), who have been mobilized in each country by UNESCO National Commissions, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations, Associated Schools and Libraries, and by all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors.

The year 2012 also marks the 80th anniversary of the Index Translationum. This international bibliography of translation provides a unique tool for the monitoring of translation flows in the world. UNESCO will celebrate this anniversary by organizing a debate on this instrument. This meeting, which will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on 23 April 2012, will bring together researchers and users of the Index Translationum as well as specialists in the field of translation and book markets.

Consequently, UNESCO suggests that the activities organized in conjunction with this year's World Book and Copyright Day focus on the themes of books and translation.

The Director-General's message as well as a downloadable poster will be available online in a few weeks.

The activities organized around the world to celebrate this Day will be published on this web site under "Initiatives 2012".
Contact: Ms Marlène Zenié Raffin, Division of Thematic Programmes for Diversity, Development and Dialogue (Culture Sector) 
Link World Book Capital City