Athens was formally launched as the World Book Capital on Monday in a ceremony held at the Acropolis Museum.

Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos and Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis attended the ceremony, marking the start of the year long event. More than 250 book inspired festivities are planned to take place in Athens during its time as World Book Capital, an initiative of UNESCO, the United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organisation.

Kaminis said that Athens is developing into a dynamic and creative scene of free expression.

"We have the fortune to be living in a city whose heritage is considered to be the cradle of western civilisation. A city with enormous history but with also lots of modern stories that take place around us every day," said Kaminis.