Attendance of International Frankfurt Book Fair increases due to Russia

The world's largest, 55th International Book Fair, at which Russia for the first time was the central member country, wounds up on Monday.

Director of the fair Volker Neumann told RIA Novosti that according to preliminary estimates, the number of visitors this year increased by no less than 10 percent compared to recent years' statistics.

Neumann explains this record-high index by Russia's participation in the fair as an honorary guest, the more so that, according to him, in recent years the number of visitors constantly decreased.

According to Nelli Petkova, director of the program "Russia - the Honorary Guest of the Frankfurt Book Fair-2003", 150,000 people visited only the Forum pavilion where the central part of the Russian expositions was situated. They were devoted to Russia's history and present-day situation: "300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg," "I Speak Russian," "Modern Book Drawing," "Rest in Russia," and "The City Of Craftsmen." The latter exposition presented books devoted to Russian people's art, demonstrated the creation of people's art works. The exposition "Book Illustrations from Russia" included 400 pieces 200 Russian painters created in recent years.

Over two hundred big and small Russian publishing houses showed their books in the second pavilion of the Russian exhibition.

More than 100 Russian writers took part in "round tables," discussions, and authors' readings during the fair's work. Russia's participation in the fair in the status of "The Honorary Guest Country" was, according to unanimous opinion, the culmination of a large-scale program "Russian-German Cultural Meetings in 2003-2004."

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