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World Expo continues to draw crowds


1/4/2011

Published on Jan 4, 2011

Despite the event closing on 31 October last year, Shanghai is continuing to benefit from the popularity of the World Expo. Local media reported that tens of thousands of people flocked to the Expo site in Shanghai’s Puxi district on Sunday when the Expo Culture Center, which hosted the six-month-long event’s opening and closing ceremonies, reopened to the public.

The seashell-shaped Expo Culture Center, which is located on the city’s Shibo Avenue, includes five cinemas and an 18,000-seat arena which will be used to host concerts and sporting events, such as the National Basketball Association’s pre-season games. A public ice-skating rink
will also reopen soon.

Despite the plan for all pavilions to be dismantled at the end of the event, the popularity of many pavilions, and their tourism potential, has led Expo authorities to preserve several exhibits. These include the China pavilion which reopened last month, and Ding Hao, Deputy Head of the Expo Bureau, said that it is in discussions with owners of the Saudi Arabia, France and Russia pavilions, which may be willing to donate the buildings. The Spain and Italy pavilions, which currently stand empty, will reopen “as soon as possible”, he added. While the pavilions cannot remain permanently, they can be kept for a period of up to 50 years.

The World Expo ran from May to October last year and attracted more than 72 million visitors, making it the largest and most popular World Expo in history.

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