Countdown Shanghai: Russia unveils 'fairytale' at World Expo

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The Independent Online

Russia has decided to present a view of the world that is both real and imagined as it lays out the final stages of its contribution for World Expo 2010.

The Russian pavilion (http://www.russiaworldexpo.com/) will be dominated by a dozen 20-meter tall white towers - inspired, organizers are saying, by traditional Russian women's costumes - but once within the site itself, visitors will be asked to look at a city through a child's eyes.

The path that will take people through the pavilion will be surrounded by giant plants and food "as if in a fairytale'' as the exhibits highlight Russia's development. Visitors will be led through the 6,000-square-meter site by "Neznayka,'' a virtual guide.

Set over 6,000 square meters, the Russian pavilion has been built to a budget of around one billion rubles (24 million euros).

"Our country has always known how to amaze the whole world at these exhibitions,'' a spokesperson from the Russian pavilion told Relaxnews. "At Expo 2010, Russia will represent the latest achievements, developments and it will acquaint the countries participating in the exhibition with its rich culture.''

As well as cultural performances held daily throughout the Expo, the Russian pavilion will host exhibitions showcasing "inventions and creations'' from industries such as aerospace and energy.

But for the most part the Russian pavilion is about the country's youth and what they think of the world that surrounds them. The pavilion will also boast a 3D display of installations of town-planning and architectural projects based on children's drawings of future cities.

"[T]he slogan of the Russian exposition is '[Creating a] better city where children are happy'. That's why key to the organizers' plan for Russia's role at Expo, young people actively participate in the exposition preparation, and the Russian concept is based on ideas and projects of children, teenagers, students, young scientists.''

The 2010 Expo has encouraged the more than 200 countries and organizations attending to theme their pavilions according to the event's motto "Better City, Better Life.''

The Expo (http://en.expo2010.cn) will run from May 1 to October 31 and organizers are expecting more than 70 million people to attend over the six months.

Russian pavilion: www.russiaworldexpo.com/

Shanghai World Expo 2010: http://en.expo2010.cn

MS

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