Kolkata: The 42nd edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair, the venue of which was shifted to Central Park in Salt Lake from Milan Mela Ground, would have France as the 'friend' country, the organisers said on Monday.
The general secretary of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, Tridib Chatterjee, said the annual event has always had a 'theme country', but this year the fair would have a new venue and a 'friend' country.
"The French representatives had requested the guild during the closing ceremony of the last fair to call France a 'friend' country and not a 'theme' country, considering the close ties between the nations," Chatterjee told reporters on the sidelines of 'Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsob 2017' here.
The general secretary also clarified that the fair was being moved out of Milan Mela to carry out maintenance work of the ground.
"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had informed the guild in July that the venue of the fair would have to be changed as the Milan Mela was in need of an overhaul,"
The CM had suggested we look for an alternative place to host the event.
"We found the Central Park in Salt Lake suitable in terms of ambience, facilities and communication. It was, however, not clear if the size of the fair would remain intact or shrink as the measurement work was still on," Chatterjee said.
He, however, expressed hope that the fair would return to Milan Mela in 2019, once the maintenance work was over.
The book fair, to be held between January 31 and February 11, would be inaugurated by the Chief Minister. The annual event was shifted to Milan Mela from Maidan following a high court order.