Dia Mundial do Livro e dos Direitos de Autor
O dia 23 de abril, Dia Mundial do Livro é comemorado, desde 1996 e por decisão da UNESCO, a 23 de abril. Esta data foi escolhida com base na lenda de S. Jorge e o Dragão, adaptada para honrar a velha tradição catalã segundo a qual, neste dia, os cavaleiros oferecem às suas damas uma rosa vermelha de S. Jorge (Sant Jordi) e recebem, em troca, um livro, testemunho das aventuras do heróico cavaleiro. Em simultâneo, é prestada homenagem à obra de grandes escritores, como Shakespeare e Cervantes, falecidos em 1616, exatamente em abril.
Transcreve-se, aqui, parte do discurso de Irina Bokova, Diretora-General da UNESCO, a propósito deste dia:
A book is a link between the past and the future. It is a bridge between generations and across cultures. It is a force for creating and sharing wisdom and knowledge.
Frank Kafka once said, “a book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.”
A window onto our inner lives, books are also the doorway to mutual respect and understanding between people, across all boundaries and differences.
Coming in all forms, books embody the diversity of human ingenuity, giving shape to the wealth of human experience, expressing the search for meaning and expression that all women and men share, that drive all societies forward. Books help weave humanity together as a single family, holding a past in common, a history and heritage, to craft a destiny that is shared, where all voices are heard in the great chorus of human aspiration.
(...) This has never been so important at a time when culture is under attack, when freedom of expression is threatened, when diversity is challenged by rising intolerance.
In turbulent times, books embody the human capacity to conjure up worlds of reality and imagination and express them in voices of understanding, dialogue and tolerance. They are symbols of hope and dialogue that we must cherish and defend.
William Shakespeare died on 23 April, 1616, preceded by only one day by Cervantes. On this day, I call upon all of UNESCO’s partners to share the message that books are a force to counter, what Shakespeare called, “the common curse of mankind -- folly and ignorance.”
Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the World Book and Copyright Day