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Documenta: Parthenon of Banned Books to Rise in Germany


A huge replica of the Parthenon in Athens made from 100,000 banned books is to rise at the Friedrichsplatz in Kassel Germany next year. The work, created on the initiative of Documenta, aims to recreate a similar project by Argentine artist Marta Munujin who created the Acropolis in Buenos Aires in 1983 using banned books as a symbolic statement following the fall of Argentina’s dictatorship.

Adam Szymczyk, Documenta’s director, says: “Censorship, the persecution of writers and the prohibition of their texts motivated by political interests and attempting to influence our thoughts, our ideas, and our bodies are once again widespread today. The Parthenon of Books sets an example against violence, discrimination and intolerance.”


The installation includes books that are still censored as well as volumes reissued after bans. The reason why the Friedrichplatz was chosen is because it was the site where Nazi’s had burnt books in 1933 and because it is near the Fridericianum, a great library and museum created in 1779 where more than 350,000 books were destroyed during bombing attacks in 1941 by the allies.


Documenta cultural events staff are gathering the banned books for the project at the Frankfurt Book Fair from October 19-23. The public are being urged to donate books for the creation by either taking them to the fair, dropping them off or mailing them to the organizers’ offices in Kassel and Athens.

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