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World Expo 2010 exhibit amazes Beijing residents

HIGH-RANKING government officials and Beijing residents visited a Shanghai World Expo exhibition in Capital Museum in Beijing yesterday on the 300-day countdown to the 2010 event.

Vice Premier Wang Qishan launched the exhibition as Beijing residents applauded. Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Mayor Han Zheng provided updates on Expo preparations. Vicente Loscertales, secretary general of the International Expositions Bureau, was also present at the exhibition.

The highlight of the exhibit is a 3D film shown on a 160-degree curved screen that is being shown to the public for the first time.

The five-minute film opens with an aerial shot of the Expo site from both sides of the Huangpu River. Virtual visitors pose in front of various pavilions and fireworks light up the night sky. As the film ends, the screen opens to reveal the exhibition.

"I was rather shocked by the film. It makes people feel as if the Expo is suddenly very near," said Marion Conrady, a German visitor and also a staff member for Germany Pavilion.

Three projectors used for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 were used for the Expo film.

Models of all the main pavilions at the Expo, including those never shown to the public such as Coca-Cola Pavilion, were exhibited.

"I believe the Expo will contribute a lot to the development of China's architecture. I strongly recommend young people visit the Expo," said Zhao Shanlun, a 73-year-old retired architect from the China Academy of Building Research. Zhao brought his 10-year-old granddaughter to the exhibition.

Visitors said the exhibition was informative and interesting.

"I knew little about Shanghai Expo before, but now I can recognize the China Pavilion, the Performance Center and the urban area (Urban Best Practices Area)," said 83-year-old Shao Lu, who was the oldest visitor on the opening day of the exhibition. She said she would visit the Expo next year.

The exhibition was fantastic, Loscertales said. "I believe many people will decide to visit the real Expo next year after visiting this exhibition," he said.

The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow and will continue through July 25.

The exhibition is free.


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