Dublin - UNESCO City of Literature

Absorbed with Ulysses

now joins Iowa, Melbourne and Edinburgh as designated UNESCO Cities of Literature. This is a permanent title.

It is with great pleasure that I heard this news during the week.

Everyone in and from Dublin is delighted that UNESCO has honoured the city by designating it as a UNESCO City of Literature.

It is good news and gets us away from the greed and stupidity that have been the highlights of the news for too long.

Vive Dublin! Proud Dubliner abroad.

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) created the award as part of it’s Creative Cities Network. The network was designed to promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world.

Speaking about the award. Mary Hanafin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport said “Dublin has been awarded this accolade because of the rich historical literary past of the city, the vibrant contemporary literature, the variety of festivals and attractions available and because it is the birthplace and home of literary greats”.

She added, “Names such as Swift, O’Casey, Wilde, Shaw, Behan, Beckett and Joyce are synonymous with Dublin and there are reminders of their great literary works throughout the city – which captures both scholars and tourist imaginations when they visit the city.”

Ms Hanafin added: “Being one of only four cities in the world to achieve the status of Unesco City of Literature will enable Dublin to increase its market share of tourists and attract more people to both the city and the island of Ireland.”

What does this designation signify? Primarily it acts as a branding tool. It demonstrates that writing is cherished in Ireland. There will be a cultural impact and there may also be an economic one if properly harnessed.

The designation focuses attention on the role of the artist in the community. Society needs both moneymakers and artists, of course, because wealth-creators allow people to earn the money to buy an artist’s work.

The application to UNESCO was made by a steering and management group led by Dublin City Council’s library service. People who believe in the worth of books beyond any monetary value beavered away on this for three years in the belief it could benefit Ireland.

UNESCO City Of Literature, Dublin, Ireland


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