Incheon declared World Book Capital for 2015 by UN cultural agency

A bookstall in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: UNESCO/Alexis N. Vorontzoff

19 July 2013 – The city of Incheon in the Republic of Korea has been named World Book Capital for the year 2015 by an international committee of experts representing the book industry and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Incheon was chosen “on account of the quality of its programme and the impact it will have on improving good integration of all stakeholders in the promotion of books and reading, access to books and writing in all formats to the citizens of Incheon and the Korean Peninsula,” according to the selection committee, which met at UNESCO's Paris headquarters on 16 July.

UNESCO said in a news release that its Director-General, Irina Bokova, endorsed the committee's decision and welcomed the number and quality of applications received for the title of World Book Capital 2015.

Each year, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry – the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Booksellers Federation (IBF) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) – select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April.

The committee attributes the title to a city which has committed itself to promote books and reading, and to highlight the vitality of literary creativity. The nomination does not imply any financial prize, but an exclusively symbolic acknowledgement of the best programme dedicated to books and reading.

Incheon is the 15th city to be designated World Book Capital following

  • Madrid (2001),
  • Alexandria (2002),
  • New Delhi (2003),
  • Antwerp (2004),
  • Montreal (2005),
  • Turin (2006),
  • Bogota (2007),
  • Amsterdam (2008),
  • Beirut (2009),
  • Ljubljana (2010),
  • Buenos Aires (2011),
  • Yerevan (2012),
  • Bangkok (2013), and
  • Port Harcourt (2014).


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