Built into The Parthenon of Books will be books such as Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain, Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. See the long list or the short list, both of which are lacking in many commonly challenged books here in the U.S., and donate your favorites that aren’t yet on the list.
This Parthenon will be a visible, participatory structure that encompasses the Athenian ideals of the first democracy and symbolizes “resistance to any banning of writings and the persecution of their authors.” That the Parthenon was a temple to Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, “reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature” is not lost on the project which will be constructed in Friedrichsplatz in Kassel, Germany, where “on May 19, 1933, some 2,000 books were burned by the Nazis during the so-called ‘Aktion wider den undeutschen Geist’ (Campaign against the Un-German Spirit).”
“A symbol of resistence to political oppression,” the finished Parthenon will actually move, as Minujín’s 1983 Argentinian version did, with the help of cranes; and two-three times a day people will be allowed to enter and to take home a “forbidden book.”