BANGOR University is at the forefront of a national initiative to promote “legendary” Wales via tales of King Arthur, scholarship and the history of book publishing.

A new centre for Arthurian Studies is being launched in the university’s Eric Sunderland Lecture Theatre (MALT) at 4pm, on Friday, January 20.

The event is one of the first to mark the Wales 2017, Year of Legends, which will see the promotion of Snowdonia’s landscape ahead of the release of a new movie.

The university will also host a talk by Dr Aled Llion Jones, of the School of Welsh, on ‘Arthur in Bangor and Wales’, while Emeritus Professor Peter Field, of the school of English Literature, will speak on Sir Thomas ‘Malory’s Round Table’.

Prof Field’s talk follows his recent lecture on ‘Finding Camelot’, which created national interest and brought so many people to the university the venue had to be moved to a larger hall.

The launch will end with an inaugural lecture by Prof Raluca Radulescu of the school of English Literature and founding director of the new centre, entitled ‘Portable Arthur: Why medieval legends are still relevant to us’, aimed at demonstrating the international appeal of Arthur.

During the launch, a collection of rare books from the Bangor University Library collections will be on show, as well as an online exhibition in collaboration with the private collection of Allan and Barbara Lupack, Rochester and the National Library of Wales, highlighting Bangor’s place among collections of Arthurian books and in international scholarship.

Prof Radulescu said: “We are working in close collaboration with both Visit Wales, who have advertised our event on their website as one of the first markers of the Year of Legends in Wales, and also with Pontio, with whom I am working towards bringing the new The Legend of the Sword Guy Ritchie movie, shot in Snowdonia last year. We are also highlighting the International status achieved by Bangor Arthurian scholars with Peter Field, former president of the International Arthurian Society, and myself as current president of the British branch and editor of the society’s scholarly journal.”

The society, founded in 1948, has more than 1,300 members.

“In the Year of Legends we celebrate not just Arthur, but also legends of scholarship as well as publishing history, as our online exhibition will show,” Prof Radulescu added.