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This question was at the heart of a panel discussion organised by The Motovun Group of International Publishers at this year’s THE ARTS+. In this interview,  Jean Arcache, President of Motovun Group of International Publishers, talks about the group and its participation in THE ARTS+ 2017.


Mr Arcache, the Motovun Group of International Publishers is a worldwide association of publishers and book people. How did the idea for Motovun emerge?

Jean Arcache: MGIP was founded as MGA – Motovun Group Association – in  1977 by a small group of publishers from Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Belgium and elsewhere on a boat at the Adriatic Coast under the captainship of the founder, Bato Tomašević.  The original idea was to publish books and make co-editions of mostly illustrated books across the Iron Curtain. MGA grew so fast that after three years a boat was too small, therefore the group took a permanent base in the most picturesque medieval town of the region, Motovun, in former Yugoslavia. Motovun has since then been part of the group’s name.

In 2015 MGA was renamed as Motovun Group of International Publishers – MGIP – to symbolise what the group is and stands for today.

MGIP is going to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2017 of course in Motovun.


What makes THE ARTS+ so interesting for the Motovun Group?

Thanks to Holger Volland MGIP had the unique chance to be part of THE ARTS+ at the Frankfurter Buchmesse. The possibility to have a hub within THE ARTS+ area and being presented in the official catalogue was a fantastic chance to be recognised by publishers and editors, who have never heard about our organisation before. We very much hope to introduce MGIP especially to publishers from African, Asian and South-American countries.


How can publishers contribute to a festival like THE ARTS+?


Moderated by our chairman Christopher Hudson, the publisher of the MoMA, New York, six MGIP members, mostly publishers of art books, discussed the pros & cons and talked about their experiences with and expectations for digitalised art book printing.


Could you please give us a summary of the activities of the Motovun Group at THE ARTS+?

As the invitation to be part of THE ARTS+ has reached us only after the celebration of the 40th anniversary of MGIP in summer, we were present with the hub and the panel. We will discuss how successful our participation was and will definitely consider the possibility to be part in the future. This decision will be taken by all MGIP members because it has to be affordable budget wise.