Culture Minister to Head Frankfurt Book Fair Project

Georgia’s Culture Minister, Mikheil Giorgadze, stated he will head the project for Frankfurt Book Fair 2018, where Georgia will be presented as an honorary guest.

The minister made the decision after the Georgian National Book Center Director (GNBC), Dea Metreveli, stated she would quit, if Deputy Culture Minister, Manana Berikashvili would continue making decisions over the project for the very important, international cultural event of next year.

The GNBC was tasked by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia for a proper representation of Georgia at Frankfurt Book Fair. 16 million GEL was allocated from the state budget for implementation of the Frankfurt Book Fair Project.

The director of the center, which serves to the interests of the national policy for promotion of Georgian books and literature abroad, applied to Giorgadze with the statement of resignation several days ago, saying she cannot continue working for the project when decisions are made by others and all the responsibility is on her.

After Metreveli’s statement, the GNBC board members also issued a statement, saying the implementation of the project was at risk. They added the changes were made to the management of the group and the Center no longer had the right to make decisions on overall project administration, quality and timely performance.

The board demanded the GNBC to be responsible only for translations and literature program for the Frankfurt Book Fair, which was strongly opposed by the Culture Ministry.

However, shortly after the tension, the minister said his deputy would not take part in the project, adding he would head the whole project himself.

“I will personally lead this project due to its great importance. I will manage all the fields, including operational and technical issues,” Mikheil Giorgadze stated after the meeting with writers and publishers on December 26.

Gvantsa Jobava, the deputy chairman of the Books Distributors and Publishers Association, said that she is satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the minister, adding there was no need of a mediator and now all the participants of the project will have a direct connection with the Minister.

Since 1976, every year the Frankfurter Buchmesse (Book Fair) welcomes a country as its Guest of Honor. After France, Georgia will present itself to the fair’s international public as Guest of Honor at the 2018 Frankfurter Buchmesse. 

Before the fair, Georgian writers, as well as creative and cultural minds, will make appearances in German cities.

The fair will open on October 10, 2018 and will conclude on October 14.

By Thea Morrison

28 December 2017 07:00
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