Tag Archives: Unesco

Fun and rewarding World Book Day 2017 experiences around the globe

2017-04-20

World Book Day 2017 is celebrated on Sunday 23rd April in thousands of locations across the globe. Also known as the World Book and Copyright Day, the purpose is the share the joy of reading (and why not writing, too) with other people. The story goes that the date was picked because in 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died on that day.

Unesco has a web page where you can register your own book or copyright -related event. There is also a map where you can view events taking place on the World Book Day. One place with a large number of events is Conakry, Guinea because it has been designated the World Book Capital 2017 by Unesco.

The best way to find even small events is to browse the event calendar of your home town. The usual suspects are libraries and bookstores.

H-P VIrkki interveiew at the Ebook fair in Helsinki, FInland
One of the most memorable World Book Day events for us took place in Finland a couple of years ago. Possibly the world’s first Ebook Fair was organized and streamed live via the Internet to book lovers who could watch interviews of authors at their homes and in offices. One of the interviewed authors was H-P Virkki who talked about his book Stunts, Scenes and Safety – Introduction to Movie Stunts.

Here are a few moments from past World Book Day events.

Go to DOnostia/San Sebastian

World Book Day in San Sebastian, Spain. Photo by Go to Donostia/San Sebastian.

North Ireland. Photo by Northern Ireland Executive.

A map of most popular books by country was created by backforward24:
Literature world map by backforward24

Literature map of Europe (backforward24 at imgur):
Europe literature map backforward24

Five new Unesco World Heritage sites located in Europe

2016-10-12

If a destination has been granted the honor of being included in the Unesco World Heritage List, it usually means that the site worth visiting and exploring. Recently, we were traveling in central Spain, and on a chilly morning we arrived in a town called Avila. We hadn’t done any research because we intended to drive through the town. There was, however, something interesting on top of the hill in the town center. Closer inspection revealed that a large ancient town was located inside a kilometers/miles long stone wall. A magnificent travel destination, and a Unesco World Heritage site since 1985.
avila, spain. a walled city
In 2016, five new sites in Europe were granted the title World Heritage Site by Unesco. They are:

Antequera Dolmens Site (Spain) – in Malaga region.
Archaeological Site of Ani (Turkey) – a medieval city on the Armenian border.
Archaeological Site of Philippi (Greece) – in north-eastern Greece.
Gorham’s Cave Complex (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – the site is in Gibraltar.
Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – 28 sites located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, western Serbia, western Montenegro and central and southern Croatia.

Antequera Dolmens by Feli Garcia

In other parts of the world, the new (nominated in 2016) World Heritage Sites are:

Antigua Naval Dockyard and Related Archaeological Sites (Antigua and Barbuda)
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda, Bihar (India)
Archipiélago de Revillagigedo (Mexico)
Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape (Chad)
Hubei Shennongjia (China)
Khangchendzonga National Park (India)
Lut Desert (Iran (Islamic Republic of))
Mistaken Point (Canada)
Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Micronesia (Federated States of))
Pampulha Modern Ensemble (Brazil)
Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park (Sudan)
The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Refuge of Biodiversity and the Relict Landscape of the Mesopotamian Cities (Iraq)
The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (Argentina)
The Persian Qanat (Iran (Islamic Republic of))
Western Tien-Shan (Kazakhstan) *
Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (China)

To be included on the Unesco World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. The ten criteria are:

1) to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
2) to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
3) to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
4) to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
5) to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
6) to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance;
7) to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
8) to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
9) to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
10) to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

Barcelona, Spain selected as the city of literature 2016 by Unesco

2015-12-21

Each year Unesco, a United Nations organization that focuses on development of education, science and culture, nominates a number of cities for different fields of culture that constitute the Creative Cities Network. For instance, film, music, media arts, gastronomy, design, crafts and literature get their own global capitals. For 2016, the City of Literature is Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain.

barcelona la rambla on sant jordi, by nuria

La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain occupied by book lovers during Sant Jordi. Photo by Nuria.


Cities can apply Unesco for nomination. Barcelona focused its application on the city’s heritage in publishing literature in two official languages of Catalonia: Spanish and Catalan. The city also has a lively publishing scene and it is renowned as the place where the World Book Day was invented.

Barcelona already has plans for 2016 for a program that promote literature and literary trade in the city. Some already agreed activities are:

Villa Joana – Casa Verdaguer Literature (Verdaguer House of Literature) in Vallvidrera will open after renovation.
Additional subsidies to libraries.
Activities to promote the work of editors.
Sant Jordi day – The World Book Day started in Barcelona, and special celebration are planned.

La Vanguardia reported the news.