A boat belonging to an Evangelical ministry which is currently docked in Buenos Aires' Puerto Madero is causing a stir among local bookstores, which allege the ship's business undercuts the local book market while pushing "religious propaganda".
The MV Logos Hope, owned and operated by the German ministry GBA Ships, docked in Puerto Madero on June 27. It will remain in Buenos Aires until July 21.
"The world's largest floating bookstore" has "visited 480 different ports in 151 countries and territories and welcomed over 46 million visitors onboard", according to its website. It offers over 5,000 titles.
But a local book sellers organisation claims the organisation behind the boat is pushing a false claim and undermining the spirit and commerce of the local book market.
Head of the El Libro foundation Guido Indij told Radio Cooperativa that the ships presence in Buenos Aires had "prompted some distaste for us. I understand the attraction to an idea like this but it concerns us because as book sellers were are trying to defend our place".
"What Logos Hope's presence underscores is a Chuch's propagandistic venture. The entire crew is focused on one idea. The books are entirely Christian and Evangelical", he complained.
"This bookstore is called the largest in the world but it only has 4,000 books, but 800,000 in storage", Indij complained.
"This speaks of something aimed at spreading a particular idea rather than providing access to a plurality of voice and ideas. As book sellers, our religion is diversity, offering the most diverse selection of books possible. The smallest book store in Buenos Aires has 10,000 books, while others have 80,000", he added.
Indij also took issue with GBA Ships' charging entrance to the vessel.
"The book sector (in Argentina) has long called for IVA (goods and services) tax exemption in all stages of the sale chain. Books are not charged IVA but vendors are in all other areas", he complained.