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2012 - Switzerland

40th ILAB Congress in Lucerne - September 22nd - 26th 2012
The Swiss Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (VEBUKU/SLACES) and its president Alain Moirandat hosted the 40th ILAB Congress in Lucerne from September 22nd to 26th, 2012. From the beginning the Swiss antiquarian booksellers have been strongly affiliated to the League. The first ILAB President, William S. Kundig, came from Switzerland. The 5th ILAB Congress was held in Geneva in 1952, the 15th ILAB Congress took place in Basle in 1962, while the ILAB members enjoyed the 25th ILAB Congress and 8th International Antiquarian Book Fair in Zurich in 1978. 34 years later, the ILAB antiquarian booksellers from 32 countries all over the world returned to Switzerland for another important international conference with an exciting programme highlighting the variety of Swiss art, architecture and culture, folklore and industrial history. The 40th ILAB Congress was followed by the 24th International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Zurich Convention Centre next to the Lake Zurich and the Zurich Fine Art Fair which took place at the same time. Both events attracted lots of art lovers and bibliophiles. For one week they changed Zurich into the international market place for everything rare, extravagant and beautiful.

Published on 03 April 2014

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40th ILAB Congress in Lucerne


September 22nd - 26th 2012


The Swiss Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (VEBUKU/SLACES) and its president Alain Moirandat hosted the 40th ILAB Congress in Lucerne from September 22nd to 26th, 2012.

From the beginning the Swiss antiquarian booksellers have been strongly affiliated to the League. The first ILAB President, William S. Kundig, came from Switzerland. The 5th ILAB Congress was held in Geneva in 1952, the 15th ILAB Congress took place in Basle in 1962, while the ILAB members enjoyed the 25th ILAB Congress and 8th International Antiquarian Book Fair in Zurich in 1978. 34 years later, the ILAB antiquarian booksellers from 32 countries all over the world returned to Switzerland for another important international conference with an exciting programme highlighting the variety of Swiss art, architecture and culture, folklore and industrial history. The 40th ILAB Congress was followed by the 24th International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Zurich Convention Centre next to the Lake Zurich and the Zurich Fine Art Fair which took place at the same time. Both events attracted lots of art lovers and bibliophiles. For one week they changed Zurich into the international market place for everything rare, extravagant and beautiful.

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Congress Programme


Saturday, September 22, 2012, Hotel Montana, Lucerne


10 am - 5 pm: ILAB Committee Meeting. During the day: arrival of the ILAB Presidents

Sunday, September 23, 2012, Hotel Montana, Lucerne


10 am - 4 pm: ILAB Presidents’ Meeting. Lunch for presidents and committee members. During the day: arrival of the ILAB Delegates

Alternative programme: Travel by coach to a cheese dairy near Lucerne. 5 pm: guided visit of the Glacier Garden, situated centrally in the City, with its singular glacial pots and the oldest surviving large format alpine reliefs.

6.30 pm: Welcome reception at the Bourbaki-Panorama, one of the oldest and largest surviving painted panoramas depicting the crossing of more than 80’000 French soldiery into Switzerland in January 1871 at La Verrière.

Monday, September 24, 2012, Lucerne


10 am: Guided visit of the Lucerne Central & University Library. Three especially prepared exhibitions will await the ILAB delegates

The Lucerne Central & University Library owns a marvellous collection of manuscripts and early printings, and the estates of scholars, artists, printers and politicians who played an important role in the cultural history of Switzerland.

12 am: Promenade to the Reuss River with its famous wooden bridge followed by a typically Swiss-bourgeois lunch in the baroque guildhouse "Pfistern"

2.30 pm: Visit of the Rosengart Museum

The Rosengart Collection was originally the private art collection of Siegfried Rosengart and his daughter Angela. It comprises more than 300 works by 23 artists with an emphasis on Modernism. Along with Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee, the Collection features exceptional works of the highest artistic quality by artists like Bonnard, Braque, Cézanne, Chagall, Dufy, Kandinsky, Laurens, Léger, Matisse, Miró, Modigliani, Monet, Renoir, Rouault, Signac, Soutine, Utrillo and Vuillard.

4 pm: Transfer by bus to Hergiswald, visit of the baroque church with its unique emblematic ceiling decoration

The magnificent “Bilderhimmel von Hergiswald” is a painted ceiling which spans the entire interior of the baroque church, It was decorated by the Swiss artist Caspar Meglinger in 1654 with 324 wood framed panels, all showing symbolic scenes related to the life of Mary. It is the world's largest cycle of its kind and a monumental testimony of baroque art and piety in Switzerland.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012, Lucerne


9.30 am: Boat trip on the Lake Lucerne, ILAB General Assembly on the boat, lunch near the "Rütli" with folkloristic attractions. The trip continues during the afternoon, rustic dinner at Vitznau with Swiss dance music, return to Lucerne

Rütli is a meadow mountain at the Lake Lucerne, where the legendary “Rütlischwur” (Rütli oath) was taken by the “Eidgenossen” (oath takers) Werner Stauffacher, Walter Fürst and Arnold of Melchtal presumably at the beginning of the 13th century. This was the foundation of the Swiss Confederation. The figures of the three oath takers merged with the legend of  William Tell who became the hero of Friedrich Schiller’s drama.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012, Lucerne


9.30 am: Excursion by bus to Einsiedeln with its baroque church, monastery and library

The Benedictine Monastery Einsiedeln was founded in 934. Today it is one of most famous monasteries on the Saint James’ Way,  the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The abbey’s library contains about 230,000 printed books, 1230 manuscripts and 1040 incunabula and early printed books including the Versus de scachis, a Medieval Latin poem and the earliest mention of chess in Western literature.

12 am: Lunch on the baroque monastery square

Visit of the private library of Professor Werner Oechslin

A library of more than 50,000 books on the history of architecture in a most fascinating modern building designed by Mario Botta: The Werner Oechslin Library holds primary sources on architectural theory and its allied fields in original editions from the 15th to the 21st centuries.

7 pm: Farewell-Dinner at the Hotel Montana in Lucerne

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