Kolkata book fair dedicates largest pavilion to France

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Kolkata, Jan 19 (IANS) The 42nd edition of International Kolkata Book Fair is dedicating its “largest-ever” theme pavilion of 14,000 sq.ft. to France, that is also the focal theme of the event rated as the world’s most attended book fair, the organisers said on Friday.

“Though the total space of this year’s book fair has got reduced due to the change of venue, we have allotted 14,000 square ft to the French pavilion to celebrate 70 years of Indo-French diplomatic relationship.

“This will be the largest ever individual pavilion in the history of Kolkata Book Fair,” IKBF General Secretary Tridib Chatterjee told reporters here.

Slated to be held from January 31 to February 11, the fair would have 580 book stalls, 20 less than its previous edition.

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“The biggest individual pavilion so far stood at 5,000 sqft and was dedicated to the UK in 2014. The French pavilion this year would be nearly thrice as big,” he said.

Chatterjee said an additional 4.5 acres of land has been acquired by the state urban development authority and the Bidhannagar municipality to deal with the space crunch in the new venue.

The book fair this year has been shifted to ‘Central Park Mela Complex’ in Salt Lake satellite township from its regular venue ‘Milan Mela’ grounds, which is being revamped, in east Kolkata.

The fair would also have its exclusive ‘App’ this year that would help the visitors locate any stall on a real-time basis even without Internet connection.

About the French connection to the book fair, Damien Syed, Consul General of France in Kolkata, said the French pavilion in this edition, entitled ‘Experience: The Digital Journey of France’, would focus on highlighting various aspects of Indo-French relations.

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“There would be three sections on innovation, creativity and partnership between the two countries in the French pavilion. Also there would be testimonies on Indo-French partnership in the future days to come.

“That is our key focus,” Syed said, adding the French Minister of Culture and Communication Francoise Nyssen would be present at the inauguration ceremony alongside Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Ten prominent French authors, including Christian Garcin and Gerrard Meudal, would grace this year’s book fair along with a host of important authors from Spain, Columbia, Bangladesh.

–IANS

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