Cyprus in the limelight of this year’s open-air book fair in Athens

Cyprus, books and an open space: This just about sums up the 27th Book Fair which opened at Protomagia Square at the Pedion tou Areos Park last Saturday. Organizing the fair is the Athens Association of Publishers and Booksellers (SEBA), while this year, the guest of honour is Cyprus – coinciding with the island’s accession to the European Union. Prime Minister and Culture Minister Costas Karamanlis officially opens the fair at 8 p.m. tonight. At the fair, Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot writers are scheduled to meet at a round-table discussion. Speaking on the subject of «Voices from All Over Cyprus,» this Friday, May 7, will be the following authors: Nese Yasin, Lefkios Zafeiriou, Niki Marangou, Fikret Demirag and Kyriakos Haralimbidis. The day before (Thursday, May 6 at 8.30 p.m.), Kathimerini columnist Antonis Karkayiannis will coordinate a discussion on «Cyprus: History, Culture and Politics.» The tribute to Cypriot literature will end on Saturday (May 8 at 8.30 p.m.) with an event dedicated to poet Costas Montis, who passed away recently. With a focus on the poet’s contemplative work, the evening’s participants will include Kyriakos Haralambidis, Costas Sofianos, Alexis Ziras and Mimis Sofocleous – the latter is the president of the Federation of Cypriot Books Publishers and a professor at the University of Nicosia. Besides the events dedicated to Cyprus and its literature, books on the island and its history will be on display at various stands. Cyprus is not the only issue on the book fair’s agenda, however. As the fair is taking place in an open, previously unused space (for years it served as a soccer field for Athenian youngsters) a different kind of event will take place on Saturday, May 15, when soccer veterans Antonis Antoniadis, Miltos Papapostolou, Christos Zanteroglou, Petros Karavitis and Costas Karapatis will talk about the sport’s past and present. Films and concerts are also part of the fair’s events this year, together with a special tribute to the Olympic Games. «The History of the Olympic Games through Books» exhibition will showcase books published by SEBA.

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