Rare Italian book exhibition opens in Qatar

October 22, 2011

An Arabic translation of Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio, the most translated Italian book in the world, is among a rare collection of books currently on display at the ‘Written in Italy’ book expo in Doha.

The unique exhibition that has already gone to 12 cities across the globe showcases over 500 Italian novels translated in about 40 languages.

Dr Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, culture minister, and Andrea Ferrari, the Italian ambassador, opened the four-day expo organised by Esedra Italian Cultural Association in partnership with the Italy-based Cittadini di Macondo association.

Laura Bertuccioli, from the Esedra Italian Cultural Association, told Qatar Tribunethat most of the books signed by the authors with few being rare titles will be donated to a library in Doha.

“The Italian language is spoken by only 70 million people. This is a very small group compared to the total population of the world,” Bertuccioli said. “However, our language is the 8th most translated language in the world because of our very rich literature. This book exhibition is a way of giving opportunity to the people to enjoy Italian literature. The novels are translated in different languages including European dialects and even particular languages like Polish, Russian, Romanian, Korean, Japanese and South African,” she said, quoted by the daily on Thursday.

‘Written in Italy’, started in 1992, is the first international exhibition of translated Italian language.

In 2008, the collection included translations given by editors, authors or their heirs, Italian institutes of culture, embassies, literary agencies and Italian bookshops abroad. The 200 books in the collection have increased to 2,250.

Esedra, through the expo, intends to help Qatar’s culture minister in promoting the importance of ‘real’ books among the new generation, Bertuccioli said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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