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Suspended Cairo Book Fair 'will be replaced'

22nd February 2011

A new international book fair is to be launched in Egypt after the Cairo International Book Fair was shelved due to the recent political unrest in the country.

Last week, the Publishers Association announced that the 2011 Cairo International Book Fair would be 'indefinitely suspended', but the American University in Cairo has now unveiled plans to stage the Tahrir Book Fair next month.

According to the university, this smaller-scale event will take place at its downtown campus on Tahrir Square in late March and feature 'thousands of publications by booksellers and publishers from Egypt and abroad, as well as author signings, panel seminars, special receptions and entertainment'.

Publishers and booksellers affected by the cancelled Cairo International Book Fair will be invited to attend the Tahrir Book Fair, though Egypt's culture ministry has this week suggested that the original event may now take place in early summer.

During the recent unrest, Egypt's Bibliotheca Alexandrina came under threat from looters, but the priceless literary artefacts inside were saved by a group of young people who protected the building from attack.

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