Iowa City leaders are unveiling a project they hope will further enhance the community’s reputation for loving literature. Some 60 sculptures made of books and designed by Iowa artists will be displayed at businesses across Johnson County next summer.

Iowa’s “City of Literature” executive director Jeanette Pilak says the project is taking shape. “We hope it’s June 1st, which is a Sunday, that we’ll unveil those statues, but definitely through the months of June all the way through October of 2011, those statues will be on display,” Pilak says.

Iowa City was named a “City of Literature” earlier this year. UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, designated Iowa City as one of four such cities in the world. Pilak says the book sculpture idea was patterned after other similar projects.

Pilak says the book sculpture idea was patterned after Chicago’s popular painted cow displays and Iowa City’s follow-up, “Herkys on Parade.”

Johnson County businesses will pay up to $6,000 to display the decorated book sculptures. Funds from the promotion are to be distributed to libraries in Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty.