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November 16, 2011

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Pavilions to reopen as unified complex

THE Italy, Luxemburg and Netherlands pavilions, plus the former site of the UK Pavilion, are to reopen as a complex for visitors and business in March, officials said yesterday.

The three pavilions will keep their original looks, while a square will be retained at the UK Pavilion, the main part of which has been dismantled.

"The compound will become a platform for cultural, business and social exchanges between China and Europe," Ding Hao, president of the Expo Development Group, told the city's top political advisors yesterday.

The 6,000-square-meter Italy Pavilion will have modern and historic exhibitions and business halls.

Exhibits will range from a replica of Michelangelo's David and relics of the ancient city of Pompeii to products from famous Italian brands, Wei Jianhua, an official with the group, told the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

A top Italian fashion academy will open a training center in the Luxemburg Pavilion opposite, Wei said.

The 5,000-square-meter Dutch Pavilion will have racing car simulators for visitors, while a parking lot for 100 vehicles will be built near the UK Pavilion square.

Also at the Expo site, 28 office buildings will be built in the former Zone B area as the headquarters of more than 10 state-owned enterprises.

And the city is to build the country's first hotel cluster, with 1,200 rooms, in front of the Expo Center. By 2015, this will include two five-star hotels and two boutique hotels.


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