Iceland’s capital, the City of Reykjavik, has been declared a City of Literature by the United Nations’ culture and heritage agency, UNESCO.
The UNESCO announcement says that Reykjavik boasts an impressive literary tradition in the form of unrivalled Mediaeval literary production, which is still treasured and preserved in the city. The sagas, the Eddas and the Book of the Icelanders and specifically named.
Reykjavik is the fifth city in the world to be named City of Literature. It follows Edinburgh, Iowa, Melbourne and Dublin.
A statement from the City says that the City of Literature recognition and events surrounding it will be formally announced at the international literature festival in Reykjavik next month. It will also now play a part in the Frankfurt Book Fair this October, where Iceland will be the special guest of honour — the first Nordic nation to date to be named Frankfurt Book Fair guest of honour.
As a UNESCO City of Literature, Reykjavik and its partners will seek to reinforce literary culture in the city in various ways. Among them will be the opening of a word-craft centre which will become a dynamic and open venue for literary events of all sorts.