Oxford bids to become World Book Capital
9th July 2012 - 1:35pm
Oxford has submitted a bid to become the 2014 World Book Capital, but will face stiff competition from ten other cities hoping to have UNESCO's cultural accolade bestowed on them.
If successful in bidding for the prestigious designation, Oxford will host a year-long programme of events that will bring together readers, writers, publishers, illustrators, booksellers and libraries in a celebration of literature and the importance of the written word.
The World Book Capital initiative was launched by UNESCO in 2001 in a bid to promote reading, writing and books in general and highlight the impact that books can have on people's lives.
Madrid was the first city to be awarded the title, with the designation later awarded to the likes of Alexandria, New Delhi, Montreal, Beirut and Buenos Aires, though the UK has yet to be represented.
Oxford is hoping its prestigious literary heritage and ambitious programme of proposed events will persuade UNESCO to grant it World Book Capital status in 2014 and boost the country's cultural contribution to the globe.
'Amongst the exciting and forward looking programme for Oxford’s World Book Capital year will be a number of signature moments, including the redesign and opening of the Bodleian Weston Library and the completion of the Story Museum, a magical new centre of children’s literature and storytelling,' the bid states.
It also aims to highlight literacy attainment in schools and encourage reading for enjoyment.
The Selection Committee will now convene to consider the candidates and submit its recommendation to the UNSECO director-general, who will officially choose the winning bid later in the year.