Groundbreaking for The Parthenon of Books
by Marta Minujín and Pierre Bal-Blanc

3 pm

Marta Minujín, El Partenón de libros (The Parthenon of Books, 1983), installation, Avenida 9 de Julio, Buenos Aires, photo: Marta Minujín Archive

The groundbreaking for the first artistic work of documenta 14 titled The Parthenon of Books is planned for 3 pm on October 22, 2016, at Friedrichsplatz in Kassel. You are cordially invited to perform this symbolic gesture together with the artist Marta Minujín and the curator Pierre Bal-Blanc, and to donate books for the creation of the Parthenon on the spot.

In collaboration with Prof. Dr. Nikola Roßbach, guest professor Dr. Florian Gassner, and students of the University of Kassel, a list of forbidden books from around the world has been compiled, which already contains more than 60,000 titles and can be consulted here. Over the course of the project this list will be continuously expanded.


Everyone is cordially invited to support the realization of the artwork by donating books. Between October 19 and 23, 2016, documenta 14 will be a guest at the Agora at the stand E2 of the Frankfurter Buchmesse in order to collect book donations for The Parthenon of Books. Beyond the timeframe of the Frankfurter Buchmesse you are very welcome to send books via mail to Athens or Kassel or drop them off in person. In that case, please refer to the following addresses or donation boxes installed at these places:

Drop-off in or shipment to Kassel or Athens:

documenta 14
documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH
Attention: The Parthenon of Books
Friedrichsplatz 18
D-34117 Kassel

documenta 14 at Parko Eleftherias
Athens Municipality Arts Center
Attention: The Parthenon of Books
Vasilissis Sofias Avenue
GR-11521 Athens

documenta 14 at Polytechnion
Athens School of Fine Arts (Prevelakis Hall)
Attention: The Parthenon of Books
Patission 42
GR-10682 Athens

Drop-off in Kassel:

Hofbuchhandlung Vietor GmbH
Ständeplatz 17
D-34117 Kassel

Buchhandlung Vogt
Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 31
D-34117 Kassel

Gottschalkstraße 8
D-34127 Kassel

Buchhandlung am Bebelplatz
Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 130
D-34119 Kassel

Antiquariat & Verlag Winfried Jenior
Marienstraße 5
D-34117 Kassel

Brencher Buchhandlung Wilhelmshöhe
Wilhelmshöher Allee 273
D-34131 Kassel

Café Buch-Oase
Germaniastraße 14
D-34119 Kassel

Drop-off in Athens:

Athens City Hall
Athinas 63
GR-10552 Athens

Center for Child and Culture
Trifilias & Lakonos 9
GR-115 24 Athens

Patakis Bookstore
Akadimias 65
GR-10678 Athens

Supporters are kindly asked to complete this form and enclose it with their donation. In collaboration with the University of Kassel, all book donations will be examined, validated, and cataloged. The donation of several copies of the same title is explicitly encouraged.


Censorship, the persecution of writers and the prohibition of their texts motivated by political interests and attempting to influence our thoughts, our ideas, and our bodies, are once again widespread today.

The Parthenon of Books is a symbol of opposition to the banning of writings and the persecution of their authors. To realize this work, the Argentine artist Marta Minujín and the documenta 14 team—in collaboration with the Frankfurter Buchmesse—are collecting books that have now been published anew after having been banned for years as well as those that are distributed legally in some countries but not in others. You are cordially invited to donate books and thus become part of the artwork.

The installation The Parthenon of Books will be presented in Kassel as a replica of the temple on the Acropolis in Athens, which symbolizes the aesthetic and political ideals of the world’s first democracy. Composed of as many as 100,000 banned books from all over the world, the work will be erected on Friedrichsplatz in Kassel, where some two thousand books were burned during the so-called “Aktion wider den undeutschen Geist” (Campaign against the Un-German Spirit). In 1941, the Fridericianum—which was still being used as a library at the time—was engulfed in flames during an Allied bombing attack, and another collection of some 350,000 books was lost.

Minujín’s The Parthenon of Books traces its origins to an installation titled El Partenón de libros, which was realized in 1983, shortly after the collapse of the civilian-military dictatorship in Argentina, and presented the very books that had been banned by the ruling junta. After five days of exhibition, two cranes tipped the building slightly to one side, allowing viewers to remove the books and take them home. A public action devoted to returning the once-forbidden books to circulation is also being planned for the new Parthenon at the end of documenta 14.


If you have any questions about the project or your donation, we are happy to provide further information. If your donation exceeds 500 kg, please write us an e-mail prior to shipment.

Telephone Kassel: +49 (0)561 707 277 27
Telephone Athens: +30 210 300 406 9

Posted in Calendar

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