Olympia Exhibition Centre, 14-16 April 2015: more than 25,000 publishers, booksellers, literary agents, librarians, media and industry suppliers from over 120 countries came to London to attend an event considered to be „a Mecca for European publishers, booksellers, rights agents and media trend spotters”.
For those claiming „to limit the immigration to the UK to 50,000 per annum, including those from the EU”, such a wave of highly skilled foreigners on the Thames’ shores might be scary and eventually a strong argument to be used in the ongoing electoral campaign. But for book lovers and not only, the London Book Fair 2015 (LBF) is just more proof that London is more than the capital city of a great country, it is also the meeting point of the world cultures in every possible way.
The initials LBF made their first appearance 40 years ago and since then the London Book Fair has grown in size and importance, being now considered as second only to the Frankfurt Book Fair, with over 1700 international exhibitors this year. Among them, 14 Romanian publishing houses with more than 350 book titles. Only 25 countries have national pavilions and Romania is one of them.
Romania has been a constant presence at the London Book Fair since 2007 and I pay my tribute of admiration to so many writers, publishers, translators and literary promoters who, along these eight years, have showcased the excellence of Romanian literature and established lasting relations between Romania and the UK. This time, our participation at the LBF evokes the virtue of literature as a catalyst of great encounters and revelations. It brings together writers and academics who contributed to create enduring cultural links between the two countries. Our programme revolves around two towering cultural personalities, one Romanian – Ana Blandiana, the other British – Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011). Sir Patrick was a war hero and the most acclaimed travel writer in Britain for decades. He testifies in hundreds of splendid pages the joy of encountering people and landscapes of Romania.