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IRL plans to include Catalan writers translated into German in its programme for Frankfurt 2007

The Institut Ramon Llull, an organisation whose aim is the promotion abroad of the Catalan language and culture, will include "all Catalan writers translated into German" in its programme for the 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair at which Catalonia will be the guest of honour, according to an announcement today by its Director, Xavier Folch.

Folch, who appeared before the Catalan Parliament's Cultural Commission, responded to EFE's questions by explaining that, before the fair, these writers will play a big part in an important promotion around Germany.

"Apart from that" continued Folch, "publishers will take along any authors that they wish to." Folch added that the literary fair in Frankfurt "wants the best known writers to come along", people such as Juan Goytisolo, Javier Cercas or Carlos Ruiz Zafón, but "it has all yet to be confirmed."

The IRL "will avoid discriminatory policies, although it will favour authors who write in Catalan" indicated Folch, for whom Catalan literature is "what is written in Catalan."

ERC [Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya] Member of Parliament and writer Maria Mercè Roca asked Folch to have it made clear at Frankfurt that there is a body of literature that is written in the Catalan language, and she recalled that when India was guest of honour at the literary fair it did not have authors who wrote in English in its pavilion because they "already had other forums available."

Publisher and Director of IRL for the last two years, Folch announced that there will an exhibition on the history of the Catalan language and culture within the confines of the Frankfurt fair, whilst outside the fair there will be exhibitions put on at the request of the city's museums, such as the Últim Miró requested by its Modern Art Museum.

Furthermore, Folch outlined plans for a "big exhibition" of Romanesque and Catalan Gothic art in Frankfurt.

During his appearance in Parliament, Folch admitted that "we are lagging behind" as far as starting up a specific web page for Frankfurt is concerned.

He announced that the Catalan government will be represented at the event to mark Catalan participation in the German literary fair, and that there will also be, for obvious reasons, an author who "writes in Catalan, since what gives Catalan culture its personality is the Catalan language." Folch also emphasised to the Cultural Commission that "we as a country have been given the great challenge" of being the guest of honour at Frankfurt, a challenge that "we will certainly rise up to."

He also pointed out that the Catalan presence in Frankfurt "will be very important for Spain as a whole" due to the "sounding board" which, in his opinion, will be provided by the almost 12000 accredited journalists from all around the world. The President of IRL also asked for the "collaboration of Parliament to help us meet the challenge."

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