Saturday, 22nd September: ILAB Committee Meeting
“Switzerland has a worldwide reputation for its cows and mountains and beautiful landscapes, for its chocolate and cheese, but also for its Swiss knives and its watches, for its pharmaceuticals and luxury goods, for its banks and its banking secrecy and many more premium products. The label ‘Made in Switzerland’ is associated with high-quality goods and fills the hard-working Swiss with pride. They have come a long way to develop a highly successful industry in a rough environment, in which mountains cover 60 % of the territory.”
A small country, in the midst of Europe, with a great tradition, a huge sense of individuality, and - Ricola. (Who invented it?) For ILAB Switzerland has been one of the most important countries from the beginning. ILAB’s first President, the charming and assertive William S. Kundig, came from Geneva, where five years after the founding of the League the 5th Congress was held in 1952. Then the antiquarian booksellers met in Basle at the 15th ILAB Congress in 1962 and in Zurich for their 25th ILAB Congress and 8th International Antiquarian Book Fair in 1978. Now, 34 years later, the ILAB dealers returned to Switzerland. The programme of the 40th ILAB Congress was exciting. It highlighted the variety of Swiss art, architecture, culture, folklore, history, with a taste of real “Swissness”.
Before the delegates explored the real “Swissness” of Switzerland, lots of work had to be done. With 2000 antiquarian booksellers in 32 countries organized in 22 national associations ILAB is a global network uniting the leading experts of the rare book business and holding up the rules and regulations of the international trade. The presidents of these 22 antiquarian booksellers’ associations form ILAB’s governing body. Their annual Ordinary General Meeting on Sunday, September 23rd, is the place where decisions are taken and initiatives are brought forward.
As usual, the ILAB Committee met the day before, while the presidents arrived in Lucerne and registered for the Congress.
In the evening they came together for a welcome dinner in the elegant Art Déco rooms of the Hotel Montana.
(Quotation taken from http://www.lucerne4you.ch/swissness.html)