Italy Announced in Rome as Frankfurter Buchmesse 2023 Guest of Honor

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The Italian culture minister says the agreement with the Frankfurter Buchmesse ‘affirms the worldwide appreciation of our creative industry and effectively shows its vitality, cultural strength, and economic value.’

In Rome, from left, Juergen Boos, Dario Franceschini, and Ricardo Franco Levi at the signing of the contract that will make Italy the 2023 Guest of Honor at the Frankfurter Buchmesse. Image: Italian Ministry of Culture

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Boos: ‘A New Spirit of Optimism’

The Frankfurter Buchmesse announced today (February 5) that Italy has been signed as the fair’s Guest of Honor in 2023, when the dates of Frankfurt Book Fair will be October 18 to 22.

The Guest of Honor contract was signed in Rome by Dario Franceschini, Italian minister of cultural heritage and activities and tourism, and Juergen Boos, Frankfurter Buchmesse director, in a meeting that also included Ricardo Franco Levi, president of the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE).

Juergen Boos

In a prepared statement, Boos is quoted, saying, “A new spirit of optimism can be observed in Italy’s cultural scene right now: the Italian book market underwent a period of dynamic upheaval and drastic change in recent years—including the consolidation of publishing houses as well as new bookstore concepts and the new book fair Tempo di Libri in Milan.

“A positive energy can now be felt everywhere. This dynamism could also be seen at the Frankfurter Buchmesse last year—the Italian presentation won us over with an exhibition concept that put the spotlight on tradition, cultural heritage, and future viability.

“We are delighted to be able be support this development for the next five years and are looking forward to an exceptional presentation at the Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2023.”

Dario Franceschini

Speaking for the Italian delegation, Franceschini is quoted, saying, “The Italian participation as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2023 has a strong symbolic meaning: it affirms the worldwide appreciation of our creative industry and effectively shows its vitality, cultural strength, and economic value.

“Thanks to this agreement the national publishing industry has a great opportunity that I know for sure will be made use of.”

Levi is also quoted, saying on behalf of AIE, “We are extremely proud of the important role assigned to Italian publishers on the international stage of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2023.

Ricardo Franco Levi

“This occasion will offer Italy the opportunity to present itself as a key protagonist within the German cultural scene for an entire year and to demonstrate its international standing, confirming publishing as the leading cultural industry in our country.

“We are pleased to have played a small but not insignificant role in this choice. And even now, tarting in 2018, the European Year of Cultural Heritage, we can make the most out of the heritage linked to book publishing.

“We’ll prepare to the fullest extent our participation at the 2023 Book Fair.”


More on the Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Guest of Honor program is here. And more of Publishing Perspectives’ coverage of the Italian market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. Prior to that he was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, a channel at The Bookseller focused on digital publishing. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.

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