Author Tomas Alexander Hartmann will present the world's most expensive book, "the task" to the public one last time at the Art Dubai in March 2009. After the exhibition, the book will never again be accessible to audiences. Hartmann justifies this decision with the statement that he is tired of the many questions he finds himself confronted with. The book's price tag of EUR 153 million is considered the highest in history and it comprises only thirteen pages of written copy. The author claims to have answered the three final important questions of humankind in less than three hundred sentences: Where do we come from? Where are we going? And: What is the real task we still have to take on?
Despite the extreme price tag, the book is remarkably simple in appearance.
Hartmann argues that the price of EUR 153 million is based on the value of the book's contents. This is likely the reason he has foregone the diamonds that would otherwise be expected in this price segment.
The author: "The high price of a book stands for the deepest insight, which makes the value of the book priceless indeed." Nevertheless: The record breaking book is allegedly a masterpiece of German book binding artistry - made by a former purveyor of the Court of a Weimar duke. By the way, the copy is actually written in the language of the buyer. The text will ultimately be translated into one hundred and fifty languages, and, using a special technique, will be inserted into a cover made of the finest gold. At that point all licensing rights will be assigned to the buyer.
At the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2008, at a price of merely EUR 1.53 million, the author plans to offer "only" his poem, which is nominated for the Lyrics Award.