Most beautiful book in the world is Slovak

A BOOK published by the smallest publishing house in Slovakia, RAK Budmerice, has received a special Unesco award for the most beautiful book in the world at the 2001 competition. The prize is awarded annually by Unesco in co-operation with the Stiftung Buchkunst foundation.

Published in 2000, the Kronika anonymného notára kráľa Bela (The Diary of King Belo's Anonymous Notary) was awarded for "the excellent way in which it transforms a medieval work into a modern book form".

The commission emphasised the choice of paper and font, the book's compact design and the overall sense for preserving the historical text. It said that it also sees the book as an indication of Slovak and Hungarian understanding of their mutual historical heritage.

The 160-page book consists of original Latin text and a Slovak translation. According to RAK's founder and owner, Pavel Dvořák, the Latin text makes the book accessible to medieval experts around the world.

"It's the most modern publication of a text coming from the 12th century," says Dvořák. "And the Unesco prize is a message from Germany to Slovakia, meaning the world knows that there is something special going on here."

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