“A ransom, we are always last” – Corriere.it

As soon as the Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini made the announcement, the mayor of Vibo Valentia Maria Limardo burst into tears of joy: My city is always considered last in all rankings and we proudly want to be the first. The Calabrian city was named the Italian Capital of Book 2021. The proclamation took place on 7 May with an online ceremony. With a voice broken by emotion, the first town recalled how Vibo is a rich, beautiful city, full of heritage, extraordinary beauty and home to so many beautiful people. Underlining how recognition is a first moment of redemption for the community. The title of Book Capital was established last year by Franceschini himself as an initiative that stems from the 15/2020 law for the promotion and support of reading. In 2020 Chiari, in the province of Brescia, was chosen among the centers most affected by the first wave of Covid.

Vibo Valentia got the better of the other five 2021 finalist municipalities: Caltanissetta, Ariano Irpino, Campobasso, Cesena and Pontremoli. A selection mechanism that recalls that of the Capital of Culture, as Franceschini pointed out: We have seen that this type of procedure sets in motion a virtuous mechanism: the identification of the local community in the competition, the design of an overall design linked to the theme, the intersection between public and private. The competition is an important moment not only for the winning city but also for the other participants.

Now they go to the Calabrian city, through the Cepell, Center for books and reading, 500 thousand euros for the realization of the project to promote the reading of the winner. The initiatives presented by Vibo draw a territorial network perspective and can act as a multiplier in a regional context that has very low reading rates, explains Cepell director Angelo Piero Cappello. Vibo Valentia home of the Reading and Writing Festival, now in its ninth edition, one of the very few in Calabria and one of the most active in the South. The library network of Vibo is considered to be highly effective and in the project presented there is the opening of a branch in Vibo Marina to bring the books among the tourists in the bathing establishments this summer. And, again, digitization initiatives are planned.

The jury that awarded the title was chaired by Romano Montroni and composed by Valentina Alferj, Angelo Piero Cappello, Gerardo Casale and Fulvia Amelia Toscano. The opinion on Vibo was unanimous. For Montroni, the energies set in motion in all the participating cities have activated a series of collaborations in the territories that he has done well and which, I am convinced, will leave traces. The Italian Book Capitals also serve to defend the space for books and reading.

Congratulations come from the publishers (Reading and culture unite the country and this will be a great opportunity for the Calabrian provincial capital to make itself known and appreciated even more by all Italians, for the president of the Italian Publishers Association, Ricardo Franco Levi) and by Ali, the Italian Booksellers Association of Confcommercio. The consensus of exponents of all political forces was unanimous. The president of Calabria Nino Spirl underlines: For years I have been following all the artistic and cultural proposals of Vibo Valentia and I could not help but appreciate the path of a city which is now the center of gravity of art, culture and literature. Congratulations also from the minister for the South Mara Carfagna, from the undersecretary for publishing Giuseppe Moles, from the secretary of the Pd Enrico Letta and from Antonio Tajani, national coordinator of Fi. And, as evidence of the involvement of the community, great joy was also expressed by the Callipo Callipo Calabria Volley Vibo Valentia, the local team that plays in the top flight.

May 7, 2021 (change May 7, 2021 | 20:56)




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