Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi had instructed SWBCO to donate €50,000 (around Dh196,700) to the fundraising campaign for the bookshop Image Credit: Supplied

Bologna: Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi has likened the rise of the Giannino Stoppani children’s bookstore in Italy that was devastated by fire last year to the optimistic future of children’s publishing and the bookselling sector at large.

Sheikha Bodour was visiting the recently reopened bookshop in Bologna, Italy, following renovations partly funded by the Sharjah World Book Capital Office (SWBCO) after flames tore through the building in May 2022.

Support fund

As Head of the Advisory Committee, Sheikha Bodour instructed SWBCO to donate €50,000 (around Dh196,700) to the fundraising campaign, joining a collective of international donors that helped repair structural damage and recover thousands of damaged books and stock items.

Reaffirming Sharjah’s commitment to promoting and preserving centres of knowledge and learning for young people everywhere, Sheikha Bodour said: “Giannino Stoppani’s return to business is a proud moment for the whole publishing industry. Together we have enabled an important kids’ bookstore to pursue its important mission of enriching young minds with literature, and we will continue to support booksellers wherever we can. I’m filled with joy to see the store once again full of curious young readers hungry for stories.”

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Established in 1983, the Giannino Stoppani store is part of Bologna’s Palazzo Re Enzo and was named after the hapless protagonist of the 1907 children’s novel Il Giornalino di Gian Burrasca (A Bad Boy’s Diary). One of the 10 leading independent bookshops in Italy, Giannino Stoppani specialises in children’s books in Italian and other languages.

Led by the cultural vision of Sharjah’s leadership, the SWBC Office contributes to preserving cultural and academic institutions worldwide. In 2019, it announced substantial financial support for the McMillan Memorial Library’s restoration project in Nairobi, Kenya, led by local non-profit, Book Bunk.