Last year’s International Book Fair counted nearly half a million visitors.
Due to the spread of COVID-19 and the rise of cases, Morocco’s Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports announced on Monday the postponement of the 27th International Book Fair (SIEL 2021) until a later date.
The postponement of the international event comes as one of Morocco’s health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, putting the health safety of visitors and exhibitors at the top of its priorities, reported state media Maghreb Arab Press.
The ministry has not yet specified a new date for the event. It typically hosts the book fair in February of each year, gathering large numbers of people indoors.
Morocco’s Princess Lalla Hasna launched the 26th annual 10-day International Book Fair in Casablanca on February 6, 2020, with a special tribute to Mauritania as the guest of honor.
Mauritanian publishing houses displayed the country’s cultural “pearls” and recent publications, which the princess visited during the opening ceremony. She also visited exhibitions portraying the works of other countries, such as the Cervantes Institute, the French Institute, an American stand, the Chinese people and Tangel Publishing House, and a Saudi Arabian stand.
Morocco’s 2020 international book fair featured 703 exhibitors, 267 of which were direct exhibitors and 436 were indirect exhibitors. Besides SIEL 2020’s focus on Mauritania, exhibits from all over the world featured in the display of more than 100,000 works.
In addition to exhibits, the event offered visitors seminars, poetic evenings, and presentations of recently-published books. Six government ministers participated in the book fair exhibits as well as 12 embassies and seven universities.
By the end of the event, the ministry counted nearly half a million people as visitors of the International Book Fair, announced then-Minister of Culture Hassan Abyaba. He noted that 15 foreign diplomatic delegations attended the fair. The book fair was also an opportunity to award multiple prizes.