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Hot pavilions seek post-Expo legacy

2010. 29 September

by Ni Dandan
( With a little over a month to go until the curtain drops on the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the most popular pavilions inside the Expo Park are busy entertaining ideas on how they will pursue their legacy long after the six-month show comes to a close.

Some 8,000 strips of wicker on the exterior of the Spain Pavilion, has not only been successful in welcoming millions of visitors over the past several months, but also "a lot of offers from both Chinese and foreign investors," said Wai Sze Leung, a press officer for the Spain Pavilion.

"A dozen of companies and some government organizations around the world have ex-pressed their interest in acquiring our pavilion after the Expo is over," she told the Global Times Saturday. "They've already sent us proposals."

Leung, however, said that the details of negotiations could not be disclosed, saying it would be unfair to the involved parties. But she added that pavilion officials will be making up their minds in the coming weeks.

The pride and glory of the Oil Pavilion - arguably one of the hottest structures at the event and biggest draw for visitors on the Puxi side of the park, drawing visitors to its queue for upwards of six hours at a time with its 4-D cinematic experience - is likely to be remembered outside the city, according to Gao Huize, director of public affairs for the Oil Pavilion.

"We'll probably take apart our pavilion and have it rebuilt elsewhere - not in Shanghai," he told the Global Times Saturday.

But Gao said that the location of its new home has not yet been decided, and that reaching a consensus on the decision will take some time as the pavilion is collaboration between PetroChina, Sinopec and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

The Oil Pavilion's top rival in terms of overall popularity, however, the Saudi Arabia Pavilion, remained tight-lipped about the state of its post-Expo affairs Saturday.

But Huang Wei, assistant to the media director of the pavilion, said that the pavilion would be pleased to donate the structure to the Chinese government, if officials were willing to keep it, permanently.

Featuring a majestic Middle Eastern culture, the structure that surrounds visitors in a sea of giant plasma screens displaying images of its national treasures, has managed to entice visitors to wait for up to eight hours in line.

But not all popular pavilions are pursuing ways to extend the shelf-life of their structure.

The Japan Pavilion said Saturday that they will truly wrap things up when the Expo is over. The lilac-colored shell covering the pavilion will be scrapped, according to Gu Lixing, director of communications for the Japan Pavilion.

"The membrane-like material that the exterior is made of is difficult to recycle," he told the Global Times Saturday.

"Our robots and high-tech gadgets inside will be returned to their sponsors," he added.

Gu said that despite others showing an interest in keeping their pavilions alive long after the Expo, the Japan Pavilion will stick with their normal routine of packing it all in when the show ends.