03.06.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Debating the future of books in Monza

“The Book Tomorrow, the Future of the Written Word” will be the theme of UNESCO’s second World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries (FOCUS 2011). The event will bring together some 200 specialists from 40 countries, from 6 to 8 June at the Villa Reale di Monza in Italy, to consider issues related to the rise of digital books.

How will digital reading affect human thinking and concentration? What will be the impact on the rights of authors and readers? Will the “digital divide” affect rich and poor, the young and old? Should traditional books and E-books be taxed differently? Will e-books entirely replace the traditional kind?

These are among the questions. to be raised by UNESCO and the professional publishing and digital community during the three-day debate, which will be presided by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the President of the Lombardy Region, Roberto Formigoni, the Italian ministers of Cultural Goods and Activities, Giancarlo Galan, and of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, as well as the Mayor of the City of Monza, Marco Mariani.

Authors, publishers, scientists, media professionals, librarians, sociologists, bloggers, researchers and decision-makers will attend the meeting, organized by UNESCO, the Region of Lombardy and the City of Monza. “The E-book Economy”, “Author’s Right in the Digital Era” and “The Digital Library” are the three main themes to be discussed in plenary sessions, which will be streamed live on line. The audience will also be able to participate and interact via microblogging using the hashtag #booktomorrow.

Noteworthy participants include writers Antonio Skármeta (Chile), Moussa Konaté (Malí) and Homero Aridjis (Mexico) as well as book industry personalities Bruno Racine (Bibliothèque nationale, France), Jürgen Boos (Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany), Tamru Belay (Adaptive Technology Center for the Blind, Ethiopia), Robert Darnton (Harvard University Library, USA), Ibrahim El-Moallem (Egyptian Publishers Association, Egypt), Sun Fang (Foundation for Globalization, China), Nubia Macías (Internationaol Book Fair, Guadalajara, Mexico) and Riccardo Cavallero (Grupo Mondadori, Italy).

This will be the second World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries organized in Monza by UNESCO and the Lombardy Region. The first, in 2009, focused on crafts and the industries of fashion and design.

Contacts for media accreditation:

Lucía Iglesias Kuntz, UNESCO l.iglesias(at)unesco.org

Philippe Fouchard-Filippi : phff(at)fouchardfilippi.com

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