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Iraq Pavilion now open

AMID songs and cheers of children from China and Iraq waving national flags, the Iraq Pavilion opened yesterday, making it the last to open to visitors.

All 246 pavilions at the Expo have now opened to visitors, said Hong Hao, director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.

It was the first time Iraq has participated in the World Expo.

The pavilion, with the theme "Next City," has a model of the Hanging Garden of Babylon. Its centerpiece exhibit is two statues of fictitious characters from the Arabian Nights collection of stories.

It was not easy for Iraq to prepare its exhibit after being in a virtual state of war for several years, Huang Jianzhi, deputy director general of the bureau, said at the opening ceremony.

Crowds of visitors, mostly Chinese, rushed to the pavilion. Long queues were still seen at the pavilion at 4pm yesterday.

"We are curious about what Iraq will exhibit in the pavilion," said 65-year-old Wang Fuchun from Anhui Province.


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