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CultMin Turcan calls International Bookfest Fair celebration of good books, true gala of culture

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The Bookfest International Book fair is already a marquee event for the city of Bucharest, a celebration of good books and a true gala of culture, Culture Minister Raluca Turcan told the fair’s opening ceremony on Wednesday.

„The Bookfest International Book Faitr, a strategic project of the Ministry of Culture, is already a marquee event for the city of Bucharest, a celebration of good books and a true gala of culture. I am convinced that the almost one million volumes, thousands of new titles and the 300 book releases and debates will bring the same effervescence that I have found here year after year. I saw earlier new books signed by Gabriel Liiceanu, Radu Paraschivescu, Tatiana Niculescu and many other beloved authors,” Turcan said.

She voiced satisfaction over Moldova’s participation as guest of honour, saying that it represents „a new statement of affirmation of a common cultural space.”

„I am very glad that the Republic of Moldova is the guest of honour of the seventeenth edition of this exhibition event dedicated to books, much awaited and loved in Romania. I want to confess to you: I was impressed by the slogan chosen by my friends from across the Prut River – ‘I am embracing you, Republic of Moldova.’ Indeed, the Romanian language and Romanian culture encompass us all, from here and beyond the Prut River – from Iasi, Sibiu or Bucharest, as well as from Chisinau, Soroca and Orhei. Therefore, I see Bookfest 2024 as a new handshake over the Prut River and a new statement of affirmation of the common cultural space. It is a special connection, which makes me happy and which I had the opportunity to highlight last month at the International Art Biennale in Venice.”

The minister added that she wants to extend the written culture programmes of her ministry, pointing to the launch of a national book acquisition programme for all libraries in Romania, as well as the financing by the Ministry of Research and Innovation, under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), of digitisation programmes for libraries.

In his turn, Moldova’s Culture Minister Sergiu Prodan said that his presence as guest of honour at Bookfest is the „pinnacle” of efforts made by „entire generations of Basarabia.”

„I am overjoyed that today we live in times that half a century ago seemed impossible, when we freely cross the border in both directions and when books cross this border without fear of arrest, times when the most important and most awaited event of Romanian language opens its arms and heart wide to a literary community that also creates in Romanian,” Prodan said

He added that Romanian literature meant and means to Basarabia „openness to the great Romanian culture, to Europe and European culture.”

„Through culture and books, we build new bridges between our countries, but also for our common, European future, in a space where we share the same language. Because, yes, fortunately, we do not need translation to read and understand each other, proof are the events of recent years that led to this Moldovan Bookfest. I am referring (…) to the Chisinau Bookfest, which has already reached its sixth edition, or to the recent Romanian Literature Days – FILIT, which this year will have a second edition in Chisinau, and to the national campaign to promote reading, in which dozens of writers from the Republic of Moldova and Romania got together to discuss with their young readers from our villages and cities. Not to mention that our writers appear at prestigious editions in Romania, just as those from Romania are printed with great love in Chisinau. Out of over 240,000 books imported into Moldova in 2023, 145,000 came from Romania.”

Also attending the opening ceremony were US ambassador to Romania Kathleen Kavalec and Molddova’s ambassador to Romania Victor Chirila.

AGERPRES

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