Flanders gets new major book fair

Starting this autumn, Flanders will once again have a major book fair. Boektopia will take place during the autumn holidays, with Kortrijk in West Flanders hosting the first edition.

Flemish minister-president and Culture minister Jan Jambon announced the launch of the event on Thursday at a press conference in Mechelen, saying he was "enormously pleased" with Boektopia.

"We are filling the gap left by the disappearance of the traditional Antwerp book fair," he said. "After the Boon literature prize, we are launching another important event that will give the book trade and reading in Flanders the prestige it needs."

The traditional Antwerp Book Fair, an institution since 1932, last took place in 2019, when it attracted more than 123,000 visitors. It could not take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the following year, organiser Boek.be went bankrupt. The bankruptcy ended a tradition of more than 80 years.

"We are filling the gap left by the disappearance of the traditional Antwerp book fair"

Boektopia will take place from 28 October to 5 November, with Kortrijk Xpo as its central hub. According to the organisers, readers can browse in "Flanders' biggest bookstore" and meet hundreds of national and international authors.

At the same time, activities will take place throughout Flanders during November in bookshops, libraries, schools and literary organisations. The location for Boektopia in 2024 has yet to be decided.




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