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Latin America's 4th biggest book fair opens in Colombia

LATIN AMERICAS 4TH BIGGEST BOOK FAIR OPENS IN COLOMBIA

In Medellin, the second most important city in Colombia, the eleventh edition of The Book and Culture Festival opened Sunday. The event expects more than 400,000 people.

The Book Festival will go until September 17th, hosting numerous authors and cultural events. Unlike other festivals usually held indoors, the Medellin Book Festival appropriates public spaces in northern locations such as the Botanical Garden, Explora Park, University of Antioquia and the Planetary.

The Book Festival's Director, Diego Aristizábal, told Anadolu Agency that this is the fourth most important book festival in Latin America, after those held in Guadalajara (Mexico), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Bogota (Colombia).

"More than a fair, this is a festival. This is an important difference: it's to celebrate books and everything that is around them. We want people to stop seeing books as something boring and start to see them as fun and close", said Aristizábal.

In all previous editions, the guest of honor was a city. This year, for the first time, a country is the guest of honor: Brazil. In the Brazil's Route people can find over 6,000 literary works, a variety of talks with authors and gastronomic, films, and music activities brought from the biggest country in South America.

The reason why Brazil was chosen as guest starts with a tragedy: On November 28th, 2016, a plane that was taking the Brazilian soccer team, Chapecoense, crashed while trying to land in Medellin. 71 people died and only 6 survived.

"Amid the mourning and solidarity after the tragedy, we generated a close bond between people from Medellín and Brazilians. The dialogue began and we felt interested in having Brazil as guest of honor", added Aristizábal.

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