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Barcelona becomes a UNESCO City of Literature

Barcelona's candidacy has convinced UNESCO's directors, international experts and the Creative Cities Network and has this Friday joined the list of UNESCO Cities of Literature. From now on, the Catalan capital will have to promote literature, integrate culture into its economic and social development plans and collaborate with the other Creative Cities. The Catalan capital presented the richness of its literary heritage in both the Catalan and Spanish languages and the international power of its editorial sector as some of its main assets. However, the celebration of Saint Jordi, Catalonia's patron day, when Catalans exchange books and roses with their loved ones, has been the focus of the candidacy. In fact, UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated on the 23rd of April, the same day as the Saint Jordi celebrations.

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11 December 2015 07:02 PM

by

ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan capital has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature and is now part of this international body's Creative Cities Network. Barcelona's candidacy has focused on the richness of its literary heritage in both the Catalan and Spanish languages, the international power of its editorial sector and especially on the celebration of Saint Jordi, Catalonia's patron day, when Catalans exchange books and roses with their loved ones. In fact, UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated on the 23rd of April, the same day as the Saint Jordi celebrations, which is regarded as a symbol which unites culture and literature. Thus, Barcelona now joins Edinburgh, Prague, Krakow, Dublin, Montevideo, Ljubljana and other cities which have literature as the centre of their creativity.


From now on, the Catalan capital will have to collaborate with the Creative Cities Network to promote creativity and the cultural industry and integrate culture into the social and economic development plans, amongst other actions. This Friday, Barcelona joined the list of cities which have literature as the centre of their creativity; the first to be designated was Edinburgh, which was followed by other metropoles such as Baghdad, Montevideo, Krakow, Prague, Dublin, Granada, Iowa, Melbourne and Ljubljana, amongst many others. 

Promotion of literature and cultural events

Thus, Barcelona will organise different projects and programmes around literature. One of its main goals will be to promote the work of writers and support the roles played by librarians, editors and translators. Another objective is to reinforce the task of libraries as cultural promoters.

In relation to this, Barcelona and Catalan literature will be the Warsaw Book Fair's guests of honour, besides taking part in the Annual Meeting of the Creative Cities Network in Östersund, Sweden and holding Barcelona's Eurocon, the biennial convention of fantastic literature, which will take place in Barcelona's Centre of Contemporary Culture (CCCB). 

Saint Jordi, one of the candidacy's strongest points

The celebration of Saint Jordi, is one of Catalonia's strongest symbols. Besides celebrating the Patron day of Saint George on the 23rd of April, citizens take to the streets and exchange books and roses with their loved ones. Saint Jordi is the busiest day for librarians and authors sign their new publications, chat with their most loyal readers and participate in many debates and cultural events throughout the day. On the 23rd of April, literature and Catalan's cultural heritage unite in a popular and festive celebration, and the UNESCO committee has evaluated this as one of Barcelona's candidacy's strongest assets. In fact, UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day is also celebrated on the 23rd of April, after the Saint Jordi celebrations.

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  • Image of Sant Jordi's Day, one of Catalonia's most representative celebrations (by ACN)

  • Image of Sant Jordi's Day, one of Catalonia's most representative celebrations (by ACN)