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Number of Czech Expo pavilion visitors may beat record from 1958

2010. 18 August

( The number of visitors to the Czech pavilion at the Expo 2010 world exhibition in Shanghai is beyond expectations and the organisers reportedly expect it to cross six million, the record set at Expo 1958 in Brussels.

The organisers originally supposed the pavilion, whose white facade is decorated with 63,000 ice hockey pucks, a popular Czech product, to attract three million people from May 1 to end-October when the Expo ends.

Instead, the pavilion welcomed its five millionth visitor, 10-year-old Chinese girl Zhang Ming, Tuesday, its marketing and communication manager Tereza Kralova told CTK.

The girl, along with her mother, praised the Czech pavilion and exhibition at a meeting with its director Miloslava Kumbarova.

"Of course, we are pleased at the high number of visitors. Being among the five or ten most recommended pavilions is a good promotion also for our partners and for the Czech Republic," Kumbarova said.

Pavel Stehlik, general commissioner for the Czech participation in the Expo, has expressed fear of whether the Czech pavilion can endure the unexpectedly high number of visitors until end-October.

The Czech exhibition's manager Milan Sedlak says that mainly the interactive exhibits will need a major overhaul sooner that expected.

The Czech pavilion houses over 20 exhibits as well as an exhibition on the Chinese legend about Monkey King with artist Zdenek Sklenar's illustrations.

There is a giant teardrop of gold (80 cm high, 50 cm wide). It interconnects human tears with gold, which symbolise emotions, power as well as wars and sorrow, and smell as one of the oldest senses.

Two bronze plaques from the statue of St John Nepomuk (Nepomucen), which people touch as symbols of happiness, from the 14th-century Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague, are also displayed in the Czech pavilion.

The eastern Chinese town of Huzhou has shown interest in buying the Czech pavilion to situate it in a newly built city zone near a lake.

Copyright 2009 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.