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Switzerland gives World Expo a lift

SWITZERLAND yesterday brought a duplicate of a Titlis Mountain chair lift to Shanghai to be displayed at its Expo pavilion.

Locals can sit in the chair lift at the Expo Exhibition Center on Huaihai Road M. for free until Tuesday. A week of promotional activities for Switzerland's Expo participation was launched yesterday.

Switzerland will build 20 such chair lifts inside its pavilion. The chairs will transport visitors on a spiral track from the ground floor to the roof of the pavilion.

At the pavilion, visitors can expect to experience the busy urban life of Switzerland's cities on the first floor and enjoy the tranquil space of the nation's mountains on the roof, said Manuel Salchli, the director of the pavilion.

The pavilion will be a 4,000-square-meter open structure without walls. It will be built of biodegradable soybean fibers.

The pavilion will cost US$21 million. The Swiss government has allocated US$15 million and the rest of the cash is coming from Swiss corporations including Nestle, Swatch and Holcim. Construction will begin next week.

Expo organizers said those who intend to build their own pavilions must start construction before June 30 this year, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

If they miss the deadline, they can rent standardized pavilions provided by the organizers or use a common pavilion for an entire continent, Xinhua said, quoting Zhong Yanqun, deputy director of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai Executive Committee.

Also yesterday, the China Pavilion received its largest donation - 200 million yuan (US$29.33 million) - from the Shanghai Tobacco (Group) Corp.


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