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Signs lose the meaning

FOREIGN pavilion staff are wracking their brains to work out more effective notices to remind local visitors to behave themselves.

The efforts so far have led to signs such as "If you make me unhappy, I will stop stamping for you" and even "Electricity, keep away."

Some pavilion staff said they had improved the notices many times to make them more eye-catching and effective.

For instance at the beginning of Expo, some pavilions simply stuck "Don't touch" on precious exhibits and products. But they found to their surprise the slogan increased curiosity levels and more people touched.

So pavilion staff had to work out more effective notices - the most effective was "Electricity, keep away," which deterred most visitors from touching a precious painting in the Guatemala Pavilion in the Central and Southern American Pavilion.

The pavilion had a painting at a corner of the pavilion to showcase the Maya Civilization.

Pavilion staff initially set isolation strips around it, but many just opened the barrier and leaned on the painting for photos, said pavilion operator Francisco Panjoj. With the new slogan, fewer people dared to get close to the painting "with electricity," but some still ignored it, he said.

In the Costa Rica Pavilion, two signs are stuck on the wall behind staff stamping Expo passports.

They announced "No more than five passports for a single person" and "If you make me unhappy, I will stop stamping for you."

Staff member Philippe Jolicoeur said too many visitors wanted passports and many kept arguing when they wanted stamps on more than five.

The pavilion is covered with various notices, including "Do not sleep here" on sofas, directed at visitors who bring coffee.

Loha Serg Samez of the Cameroon Pavilion said he never thought he would need a sign saying "Do not climb," but they had to use it now.

The sign was erected beside a wooden sculpture resembling a bent tree at the pavilion's entrance.

"We just cannot understand why so many visitors, both children and adults, try to climb the sculpture because it is not very good behavior," said Samez.


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