UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay announced that: ‘In uncertain times, many are turning to books as a refuge and a source of dreams. Indeed, books have the unique ability both to entertain and to teach. This is why we must ensure everyone has access to knowledge and reflection through books and reading. This is why each year UNESCO designates a world book capital. After Guadalajara in 2022, and Accra in 2023, I am pleased to announce the designation of Strasbourg as World Book Capital for 2024’.

Strasbourg was chosen for its focus on books to meet the challenges of social tensions and climate change, with programs like ‘Reading for the Planet’. The city emphasizes the ability of books to encourage debate and discussion of environmental concerns and scientific knowledge, focusing on young people as agents of change. Strasbourg was also commended for its literary heritage and the cultural activities it organized, highlighting artistic disciplines such as music and threatre.

The year of celebrations will start on 23 April 2024, on World Book and Copyright Day.

Further reading:

UNESCO Press Release