The Parthenon of Books is on display in Kassel, Germany from June to September this year. It is the same size as the actual Parthenon and contains about 100,000 books!
The books selected all have one thing in common: they were banned at one point or another, somewhere in the world. Titles include many books considered to be literary classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
This location is significant. In 1933 around 2,000 books were burned by Nazis in their “Campaign against the un-German spirit.”
Argentinian artist Marta Minujín created this huge sculptural work as a statement about democracy. What better to use than the Parthenon, one of the landmark structures of the first democracy. She worked with students from Kassel University to assemble the work. Books were donated by the public. Due to the height of the piece, cherry pickers were required to place the books.
The Parthenon of Books is part of the Documenta 14 exhibition, a public display of modern art which started in 1955 and takes place every 5 years in Kassel. An estimated 1 million people will see it this year.