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Maria Lucia Klöcker, Weltenleser bookshop, Frankfurt am Main


© privat

After a visit to Frankfurter Buchmesse, it’s common to go home laden with all kinds of brochures, pencils, postcards and signed books – but above all we go home with many interesting, usually unforgettable impressions and memories. I myself have collected many beautiful objects that are dear to me and remind me of the fair. Together with the books, they also connect me with people from the most diverse countries on this earth and accompany me in my thoughts on my travels around the world.

My most unusual memento comes from Norway's Guest of Honour Pavilion, which I'm sure many visitors to the 2019 Frankfurter Buchmesse will still remember because of the 23 "sculpturally abstract" book tables, as descibed by NORLA (Norwegian Literature Abroad). It is the table "Forbidden and censored books". Those who don't remember it can visit it at Oeder Weg 40 in front of the Weltenleser bookshop. 

It was the intention of the host country Norway to let the book table sculptures live on after the fair, so German bookshops could become the proud owners of such a book table by participating in a competition. I immediately fell in love with the "Forbidden and censored books" table on my first visit to the Norway pavilion. It was delicate and elegant, but with its height of about four metres, it certainly was not a suitable piece of furniture, neither for the bookshop and certainly not for the private home. 

So what should I do with such a book table sculpture, should I be one of the "lucky" winners? At first, this question made me hesitate to take part in the competition. On the other hand, I had never won anything before, so why should this time be any different? So I bravely entered. And I won my sculpture!

My excitement about this really "big" prize was very limited at first, especially when it was delivered. Not only did the unloading briefly cause traffic chaos in Oeder Weg in front of the bookshop, but many onlookers gathered to watch and comment on the "parking" of the huge sculpture in the rented carport behind the bookshop. Although at first I no longer had a parking space for my car, and for a long time I couldn't think of a suitable location for this particular book table, I began to slowly make friends with my prize.

It took about three months until its ideal location "really jumped out at me": the garden directly in front of the bookshop, which we have in front of us every day and which I have been planting and caring for since the bookshop was founded. I had the sculpture securely placed there and take great pleasure in it every day, as do the customers and passers-by.

The book table sculpture "Forbidden and censored books" has in the meantime become a "sculptural-abstract" and "narratively-playful" (as NORLA would say) flower box and sets up a lasting, blooming monument - in the truest sense of the words - to the host country Norway, Frankfurter Buchmesse and above all to books.