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Taipei book fair to highlight Belgian literature (update)

2012/12/19 22:04:07

Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) Visitors to the 2013 Taipei International Book Exhibition, one of Asia's major book fairs, will be able to have a taste of Belgian culture during the Jan. 30-Feb. 4 show, the organizers said Wednesday.

The book fair, now in its 21st year, will feature Belgian literature, music, history and architecture -- even the Smurfs cartoon characters -- said Paoping Huang, director of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation, which is organizing the event.

The blue fictional creatures will be spotted not only at the Belgium Pavilion but will also be used in the advertisements and decorations for the whole show, she said at a pre-event press briefing.

Along with the Smurfs, Belgium's other noted comic series, "The Adventures of Tintin," will also be on display, as well as with other publications from 22 Belgian publishing companies, said Huang.

After three years of preparation for the Belgian pavilion, Huang said, it will be a rare opportunity to see so many publishers and publications from the European country in Taiwan.

As the theme country of this year's event, Belgium will showcase four exhibitions: comic books and illustrations; architecture designs by Victor Horta; the origin of saxophones; and poems and original manuscripts by Maurice Careme.

Belgian children's book illustrator and writer Kitty Crowther, who won the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council -- the biggest prize in children's literature -- and writer Carl Norac are also scheduled to attend the event and interact with visitors.

Caroline Vermeulen, director of the Belgium Office in Taipei, said at the press briefing that visitors to the pavilion will be able to gain a better understanding of Belgium.

Expressing excitement about the event, Vermeulen said she preferred not to go through all the details but would leave people to explore the event themselves.

In addition to Belgium, other countries such as France, Australia, Turkey, Mexico, Peru, South Korea, Japan and the United States will participate in the annual event.

The six-day event will include a variety of seminars and workshops on topics such as international publishing, digital reading and the development of digital content applications to improve exchanges in the global publishing sector.

This year's fair has received over 800 registrations by publishers, and 500 writers from home and abroad are expected to attend. It attracted a record number of 600,000 visitors last year.

(By James Lee)