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Macau reconstructs pawnshop for Expo

CONSTRUCTION began yesterday of a replica 92-year-old Macau pawnshop at the Expo 2010 site.

The replica is part of the special administrative region's Expo Urban Best Practices Area showcase.

The pawnshop, with a floor area of 1,950 square meters, will show visitors how it operated nearly a century ago, said Ieong Pou Yee, from Macau's Expo team.

Macau will also show how the pawnshop was protected and later restored to become one of the most popular museums in the special administrative region, said Ieong.

The Tak Seng On Pawnshop was built in 1917 by Ko Ho Ning, a Macau businessman. It was Macau's largest pawnshop in the first half of the 20th century.

From the 1980s, its fortunes gradually declined until it was finally closed in 1993.

The Macau government allocated 1.4 million Macau pataca (US$175,300) to restore the pawnshop in 2001 and turn it into a museum.

The "Pawnshop Pavilion" will be in the Puxi section of the Expo site. The pavilion will be finished by year end.

Macau will build a separate Expo building near the China Pavilion, in the shape of a rabbit lantern.

The pavilion will be wrapped in a glass membrane and have fluorescent screens on its outer walls. The head and tail of the rabbit will be inflatable balloons.

Macau yesterday launched a display at the Expo Exhibition Center at 300 Huaihai Road M. featuring a model of the rabbit-lantern pavilion. The display ends next Monday.


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