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Italy Pavilion inspired by a child's game

CONSTRUCTION began yesterday on the Italy Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Its design was inspired by the children's game "pick-up sticks," which is known as "Shanghai" in Italy.

The rectangular pavilion will be laced with intersecting lines - representing pick-up sticks.

The 3,600-square-meter structure comprises 20 functional modules of different shapes, bounded by the "sticks." They represent Italy's 20 regions. The modules can be assembled into smaller structures. After the Expo, the building will be disassembled and reconfigured.

Construction will be finished at the end of March, officials said.

The pavilion will present Italian opera, fashion shows and food for its visitors, said Beniamino Quintieri, Italy's Expo commissioner-general.

The pavilion will also make use of a cutting-edge construction material known as transparent concrete.

The Italian construction company building the pavilion may promote the material in China after the Expo, Quintieri said.

Italy remains committed to its Expo budget despite the global financial crisis, said Riccardo Sessa, Italy's ambassador in China.

Sessa said Italy believes the Expo will renew confidence in the world economy.

Italy will invest 50 million euros (US$67.38 million) in Expo 2010.

Meanwhile, construction began yesterday on Macau's Expo Pavilion. It will look like a rabbit lantern sitting under China's national pavilion.

Macau Pavilion will be shielded with a double-layer glass membrane and fluorescent screens. Kinetic balloons will form the head and tail of the "rabbit." In Chinese mythology, the jade rabbit welcomes visitors to a magical fairyland.


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