The Prague Book Fair opened on Thursday with Hungary as this year’s guest of honour. Hungarian Minister for Human Resources Zoltán Balog said at the opening ceremony that the region’s peoples should again elevate Central Europe to become a hub of power and strive to understand one another despite language barriers.

Mr. Balog also said that Hungary had not only brought books to the event, but was attempting to present Hungarian reality in its entirety. Pál Hatos, director of Hungary’s Balassi Institute, said that the book fair is an excellent opportunity to spread Hungarian culture in the Czech Republic.

Photo: Filip Singer/EPAJan Hamacek, Speaker of the Czech Parliament said that Hungary was a good choice for guest of honour because the country’s past and present are of interest to the Czech people and are worth a closer look.

The four-day Prague Book Fair, entitled “World of Books” is being attended by several hundred publishers from two dozen countries. Last year, the fair had 36,000 visitors and organisers hope to at least match that number.
Hungarian writers present at the book fair include Krisztina Tóth, Péter Esterházy, György Spiró, László F. Földényi and János Háy.