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A reception to mark the first ever participation of Russia as focal theme country of the book fair

The spacious Russia stall at the fair had over 800 titles on display, including children’s literature

By Sudeshna Banerjee in Calcutta
  • Published 18.02.20, 4:25 AM
  • Updated 18.02.20, 4:25 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Mikhail Gusev, deputy consul general of Russia, greets Usha Uthup Picture: Rajkumar Mondal

With Russia being the focal theme country of the International Kolkata Book Fair for the first time in the 44 years of the event, one of the gates of the fair were modelled after the iconic Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and a host of Russian authors participated in the Kolkata Literature Festival, that happened on the sidelines of the fair, in association with The Telegraph.

To commemorate the occasion, the consulate general of the Russian Federation and the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, the fair organisers, hosted a reception at Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences.

Other than the organisers themselves, it was attended by visiting delegates, eminent Calcuttans as well as diplomats from other countries.

Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev, who had inaugurated the Book Fair by sounding a wooden gong 44 times, was the centre of attention at the reception as was Vladimir Grigoriev, deputy director of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

In a chat with t2, the ambassador, on his third visit to the city, described Calcutta as a “nice city with the highest cultural standard”. “I had first visited Calcutta 20 years ago. It is definitely becoming better,” he said.

The spacious Russia stall at the fair had over 800 titles on display, including children’s literature. Four books, translated from Russian to Bengali, were published at the fair.

“The Book Fair is a very productive platform which we will build upon. Modern Russian authors are being translated into Bengali. We must take help of new technology to make literary works in Hindi and other Indian languages accessible in Russian as well,” he added.

Novelist Eugene Vodolazkin caught the eye by dressing up in a black panjabi. “It is very nice. I bought it today. I will wear it in Russia also,” he smiled.

Ambassador of the Russian Federation Nikolay Kudashev
Ambassador of the Russian Federation Nikolay Kudashev
Vladimir Grigoriev, deputy director of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media of the Russian Federation, with Book Fair organisers Raju Barman (right) and Tridib Chatterjee, joint secretary and president respectively of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, and Sujata Sen, director of the Kolkata Literature Festival
Vladimir Grigoriev, deputy director of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media of the Russian Federation, with Book Fair organisers Raju Barman (right) and Tridib Chatterjee, joint secretary and president respectively of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, and Sujata Sen, director of the Kolkata Literature Festival
Alexey Idamkin, consul general of Russia
Alexey Idamkin, consul general of Russia
Masayuki Taga, consul general of Japan
Masayuki Taga, consul general of Japan
General manager of Novotel Kolkata Hotel & Residences Sandeep Johri
General manager of Novotel Kolkata Hotel & Residences Sandeep Johri
French consul general Virginie Corteval with Fabrice Plançon, director of Alliance Française du Bengale
French consul general Virginie Corteval with Fabrice Plançon, director of Alliance Française du Bengale
Eugene Reznichenko, head of the Institute for Literary Translation, and novelist Eugene Vodolazkin
Eugene Reznichenko, head of the Institute for Literary Translation, and novelist Eugene Vodolazkin
Vladimir Dementiev, director, Gorky Sadan
Vladimir Dementiev, director, Gorky Sadan
Zha Liyou, consul general of China
Zha Liyou, consul general of China Pictures: Rajkumar Mondal