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January 10, 2011

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Popular pavilion demolished

WORK began yesterday to tear down the hugely popular Taiwan Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 site.

A huge pincer demolished the metal and glass 658-square-meter structure. The land will be cleared before the Spring Festival on February 3. The Zhoujiadu Station on Metro Line 8 will be built there.

However, the interior of the pavilion - which featured a giant multimedia theater globe - has escaped the bulldozers and will be rebuilt in Hsinchu City on Taiwan.

The city has bought the interior display for NT$459 million (US$15.65 million) and it will reopen to the public in October.

"Both the appearance and inner exhibition of the new pavilion will be the same with that at the Expo, but the new exterior will be bigger," said Felix Chiu, director of the pavilion.

The new pavilion will be constructed on an old fertilizer factory as part of an initiative to convert a 4,900-square-meter industrial area into an exhibition and convention center.

The exhibits, including the 12-meter theater globe which visitors entered and stood on a bridge to view a film, and a platform where visitors could join a multimedia lantern-flying ceremony, have been shipped to Hsinchu.

The Taiwan Pavilion has presented a simplified lantern-flying platform to the Expo Museum, where people can choose blessing phrases, such as "The Whole Family is Well" and "Being in Love Forever," and then push a button to raise the lantern on a screen carrying those words.

The pavilion, which took as its theme "Mountain, Water and Lantern," received 750,000 visitors during the 184-day Expo. The venue, designed by architect CY Lee - who created the 508-meter-tall skyscraper Taipei 101 - was of the most popular pavilions at the Expo.

Other pavilions that had begun being dismantled include the United Kingdom and Japan pavilions. Most others are still standing as the organizer asked officials to wait a while to avoid turning the area into a demolition site.


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