World Book Capital is a title that is supposed to showcase the power of books to both entertain and teach

UNESCO names Strasbourg World Book Capital for 2024

UNESCO names Strasbourg World Book Capital for 2024

The city will mark the occasion by implementing a yearlong programme that will promote the cross-cultural and cross-societal power of books

On 20 July, UNESCO’s World Book Capital Advisory Committee named Strasbourg, France the World Book Capital for 2024. Strasbourg will hold the title between 24 April 2024 (World Book Day) and 24 April 2025, then the torch will be passed to its successor. The title itself was first established in 2001 and is aimed at highlighting the power of the written word to both entertain and teach.

At the same time, a World Book Capital has to have a strong literary heritage, while being up to the task of implementing a year-long programme dedicated to promoting and disseminating a culture of reading among all ages, groups of the population and across national borders.

A lineage of book culture, from year to year

According to an official statement by UNESCO, one of the main reasons they picked Strasbourg is how the local administration uses books to meet the challenges of social tensions and climate change, with programs like 'Reading for the Planet’.

Reading for the Planet (Lire notre monde) is a campaign built by the city’s administration, that they need to implement during the time they hold the title of World Book Capital. Here are the five themes Reading our World is centred around:

  • Strasbourg, a city at the crossroads of ideas and debates, looks at the issues of our time in a dialogue with all the communities and inhabitants;
  • Strasbourg, a creative and poetic city, takes up the ‘book’ as a tool to imagine a desirable and poetic future;
  • Strasbourg, a city of refuge makes culture and reading a vital lever for peace, by promoting multiculturalism;
  • Strasbourg, an ecological city, looks at the issues of social inclusion and eco-responsibility;
  • Strasbourg, a child-friendly city, will give kids and families a taste of literature by promoting community readings.

Jeanne Barseghian, Mayor of Strasbourg, was quoted in a statement by the city, saying: “Strasbourg has become the first French city to receive this label! It crowns the remarkable commitment of all the cultural, educational and social forces, which have been able to design a new future dedicated to the debate of ideas, as well as creative and ecological issues. 'World Book Capital 2024' will reach all neighbourhoods and will address all generations."



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