The Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) will be postponed till June 2021 over coronavirus fears, the High Committee of the CIBF stated following a meeting on Monday, headed by Egypt’s Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem.
The fair is usually held in January and February, with many Egyptian, Arab, and international vendors exhibiting their books, tapping into the massive turnout of the Middle East’s largest annual cultural event.
The committee set a new date for the 52nd CIBF from 30 June to 15 July, the statement said.
"The committee discussed the latest developments concerning the coronavirus pandemic globally, and its impact on book fairs worldwide, which led to the cancellation or postponement of international exhibitions," the statement noted.
The statement added that the decision was made since international institutions and Arab and foreign publishers participating in the fair are expected to face difficulty in moving between countries, especially in winter, amid the pandemic.
Due to the same reason, the committee said it agreed with Greece that it would postpone its participation in the exhibition as a guest of honour.
The decision reflects both sides' desire to demonstrate the deeply-rooted cultural and historical ties between Egypt and Greece, the statement added.
The CIBF was founded by the General Egyptian Book Organisation, a state publisher and retailer group, in 1969 to coincide with the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the city of Cairo.
Attracting thousands of visitors, the 51st CIBF was held between 22 January and 5 February last year, a few days before the detection of the first coronavirus case in Egypt in mid-February.
Domestically, the virus has so far infected 113,027 people and caused the death of 6,548.