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Last updated at 17:41 BST, Monday, 16 May 2011

Argentina builds a tower of books


16 May 2011

A new monument celebrating books has been launched in Buenos Aires. The Tower of Babel was created by artist Marta Minujin, who is well-known for creating works made from plastic. The tower includes books in more than 50 languages.

Daniel Schweimler

Artist Marta Minujin poses in front of her creation, The Tower of Babel

Artist Marta Minujin created the tower, which is 25 metres high


Click to hear the report:


This is simply an audio and visual celebration of the book - any books, all books, in whichever language you like. Works by Jane Austen, Dickens, Henry Blake, Ernest Hemingway, Cervantes, Vargas Llosa, Tolstoy and Argentina's own favourites, Borges and Sabato, line the walls of this tower, each wrapped in plastic for its own protection.

The United Nations has designated the city as the 2011 World Book Capital.

This book tower is 25 metres high and lined with 30,000 donations from more than 50 embassies. It'll be dismantled at the end of the month and the books will form the beginning of a multi-lingual library.

The Buenos Aires Book Fair, one of the biggest in the world, has just ended, recording more visitors than ever before. The city boasts hundreds of bookshops and some cafes even supply works by Argentina's most renowned literary icon, Jorge Luis Borges, to read over coffee. Buenos Aires is a city that loves its books and now it has a tower to prove it.

Daniel Schweimler, BBC News, Buenos Aires


Click to hear the vocabulary:



are displayed in rows across

has designated

has described or named

book tower

here, tall structure which is partly built from books


buildings where groups of people who represent their countries and governments in foreign countries work (an ambassador is the head of an embassy)


taken apart

a multi-lingual library

collection of books, printed in various different languages


taking note of (information)


contains or possesses


here, published books

over coffee

while drinking coffee

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