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August 21, 2010

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Taiwan pavilion for sale

THE Taiwan Pavilion will be moved back to Taiwan after the Expo and the island's enterprises, county and city governments need to meet a Thursday deadline for handing in their bids if they want to buy it, a pavilion official said.

The pavilion is a valuable commodity because of the Expo and was sure to bring huge commercial opportunities to any buyer, said Chao Yuen-Chuan, secretary general of the Taipei World Trade Center and the person in charge of the construction and operation of the pavilion.

The governments of Keelung and Taichung cities as well as Hsinchu and Hualien counties have already shown interest in taking part in the bidding. Enterprises showing interest included some amusement parks in Kaohsiung and Taichung, Chao said.

The pavilion is expected to attract bids of around NT$1.1 billion (US$34 million). According to previous reports, the budget for the pavilion was US$29.26 million, all funded by Taiwan enterprises.

Chao said the pavilion might be redesigned and be slightly different to the current pavilion in Shanghai. Dismantling of the pavilion will begin in November and be finished within six months, he said.

The International Exposition Bureau stipulates that all pavilions must be dismantled from the site after the Expo, but many countries, especially those who had invested a lot in their buildings, had expressed the hope that their pavilions could remain in Shanghai.

Abdulrahman al-Shaikh, the Saudi commissioner general to the Expo, said the Saudi government hoped its pavilion could be left in Shanghai, but would obey the decision of Expo organizers.

The French Expo organizer has also said they wanted to present the France Pavilion to Shanghai and hoped it would serve as a symbolic structure like the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Several pavilions "might" remain, Hong Hao, director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, has said.

"To those pavilions that were outstanding in their design concepts, environmental protection and material recycling, the organizer would help the participants to reassemble the pavilion outside the Expo site," Hong said.

Not all pavilions were dismantled after previous World Expos. The Crystal Palace at the London event in 1851 and the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Expo in 1889 were designed as temporary constructions, but remained after the Expo.


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