- Published on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:43
- Written by Admin
OXFORD has missed out on becoming Unesco World Book Capital, it was confirmed yesterday. The city was bidding to win the title for 2014 but it has instead gone to Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Oxford’s bid, one of 11 worldwide, was co-ordinated by Oxford Inspires and a steering committee made up of local organisations.
Oxford Inspires chairman Tony Stratton said: “While we are sad our bid was unsuccessful, it has been a catalyst for raising awareness of national literacy challenges and for putting real commitment and energy behind working for change. Nothing of this work will be wasted.”
Oxford’s bid had an Imagination Unbound theme, celebrating books’ power to inspire and unlock imaginations.
Unesco said Port Harcourt was chosen because of “its focus on youth, and the impact it will have on improving Nigeria’s culture of books, reading, writing and publishing.”
Port Harcourt is in southern Nigeria and has a population of 500,000.
The Oxford committee said it would still plan a year of literary events, including the opening of the Story Museum in Pembroke Street, the Bodleian’s Weston Library and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies’ library. Events are also planned for the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Co-director of the Story Museum Kim Pickin said: “We’re disappointed but the process has forged some wonderful partnerships.”