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March 24, 2010

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Souvenir gold bars bear panda portraits

SOUVENIR gold bars featuring World Expo pandas went on sale yesterday, each showing a portrait of the 10 pandas that came to Shanghai from Sichuan Province.

The designer spent a whole week living with the pandas at the Wolong center in Sichuan before the pandas arrived in the city in early January.

"Each panda has its own characters and is distinctive on my work," said Wang Shenyong, 38.

His original 10 paintings are worth more than 100,000 yuan (US$14,650) each, Wang said.

Each gold bar bears a colorful portrait of one of the pandas eating bamboo, playing along a river or climbing on trees.

A 10-gram gold bar pack sells for 1,200 yuan, the 100-gram bar 9,900 yuan.

A total of 160,000 gold bars is available. They'll be at the more than 4,000 licensed stores around China selling Expo products.

Also on sale are silver bars, coins and a miniature sheet of stamps with the pandas on them.

Gold and silver products are among the most popular Expo souvenirs, followed by toys and stationery, said Xin Juehui, director of Sales Management Department of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.


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