An impressive stock of 1,100 French books that were shipped to Seychelles on the French navy ship “SIROCO” were on Friday morning handed over to Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, and transported to the Seychelles National Library at the National Cultural Centre in Victoria.
The book shipment to the Seychelles is the result of appeals made on behalf of the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture to ADIFLOR, a non-profit association, and to book publishers in France by Mr. Richard Touboul, the French historian and friend of Seychelles.
It all started in February 2013, when the Ministry of Tourism and Culture sought the assistance of Mr. Touboul for a ground-breaking mission in France to seek the support of book publishers and of the ADIFLOR to donate a stock of French language books for libraries in Seychelles.
Mr. Touboul flew to France and met with different reputed book publishers, and he also met with ADIFLOR, the non-profit association for the publication and distribution of French books. ADIFLOR was created in 1985 by Xavier Deniau, a former French Minister, with a mission to introduce readers to the pleasure of French books and promote French culture around the world among others. Mr. Richard Touboul struck a deal with Isabelle Le Camus de Lagrevol, an active member of the ADIFLOR association, and obtained the stock of French books for Seychelles.
Each year ADIFLOR, through their collections, enrich public libraries, documentation centers, schools, and universities in French-speaking countries with more than 200,000 books. Seychelles is now listed as one of the beneficiary countries of the association with a first donation of 1,100 books. Of the total number of books donated, 920 goes to the French section of the National Library at the National Cultural Centre in Victoria; 127 goes to the French Cultural Centre, “Alliance Francaise;” and about 40 to the French Embassy.
With the support of Madame Genevieve Iancu, French Ambassador to Seychelles, the contingent of books was loaded on the French military vessel “SIROCO” and shipped to Seychelles. The vessel safely docked in Port Victoria on December 21 under the command of Jean Marc Le Quilliec, Commander of “SIROCO.”
It was in the presence of Jean Paul Adam, the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs; Madame Genevieve Iancu, the French Ambassador to Seychelles; Madame Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture; and other high-government officials that Commander Le Quilliec handed over the consignment of French books to Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, onboard the French navy ship “SIROCO.”
In his speech, Minister St.Ange said that handing over of the books to the Seychelles government “marked an important phase in the consolidation of French-Seychelles relations in the cultural arena.”
“The Franco-Seychelles relation already founded on solid ground is today more than ever solidified with the new contingent of French books being handed over after being transported to Seychelles by the French navy,” Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, said.
Minister St.Ange also thanked Madame Genevieve Iancu for being supportive of this project.
“On behalf of Seychelles government and on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, I would like to extend my profound recognition to the French marines, especially to Mr. Jean Marc Le Quilliec, Commander of ‘SIROCO’ for his active involvement in this project that will help the development of culture in our country. We are also honored by the presence of the ‘SIROCO’ in our port and of the presence of Admiral Herve Blejean, Commander of the European Union marine forces,” Minister St.Ange said.
The Seychelles Minister concluded his address by extending his gratitude to Mr. Richard Touboul, the Historian and Honorary Consultant with the Seychelles Museums, and “a close friend of Seychelles” for successfully undertaking this mission.
Madame Genevieve Iancu, the French Ambassador to Seychelles, on her part hailed the symbolic gesture of the book donation as a positive step in French-Seychelles relations. Whereas Jean Paul Adam, the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, said that “the shipment of these books to Seychelles further strengthened the linguistic pact.”
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