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Taiwan Pavilion raises lanterns

TAIWAN will invite people to fly lanterns for good luck - a traditional island custom - and view its beautiful mountains and lakes at its pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

The Taipei World Trade Center yesterday signed a contract with the Shanghai World Expo organizer to be responsible for the Taiwan Pavilion.

The center also revealed its pavilion design, which will be a transparent cube housing a giant ball in its center, built on a 658-square-meter plot.

Its exhibition theme is "Mountain, Water, Heart and Lantern."

The pavilion will showcase the island's natural scenery, its kind-hearted people and traditional culture, said C. Y. Lee, chief designer of the pavilion as well as Taipei 101, one of the world's tallest skyscrapers.

The pavilion will showcase Taipei, a city that makes people comfortable with a very natural lifestyle, Lee said, to echo the "Better City, Better Life" Shanghai Expo theme.

The pavilion will mainly be made of steel and glass, with the outlines of the island's Mount Morrison and Mount Ali painted on the facade.

The globe, 12 meters in diameter, houses a theater, where a four-minute movie about Taiwan's culture and scenery will be shown. The globe doubles as a screen to show the island's landscapes.

The globe will be suspended over a pool of water, which will reflect the images shown on the globe.

Visitors will be invited to take part in a multimedia lantern-flying ceremony on a platform above the pool.

If 40 people make a ring on the platform, each of them will trigger a beam that will light the globe, according to a virtual movie about the pavilion.

The five-minute show will be performed throughout the Expo.

Construction of the pavilion, which will cost NT$150 million (US$4.58 million), will start next month.

Lee said they hope to attract 10,000 visitors a day.

Taipei will also have two exhibits - a wireless city and a recycling program - in the Urban Best Practices Area.


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