Greenwich mystery

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The Independent Online
Glamorous exhibition centres with nothing inside are all too familiar to the British, of course. Controversy has raged for months over the mystery of what will fill the huge space inside the Greenwich Millennium Dome.

Despite complaints from a number of MPs about lack of information, quite a bit has emerged. This week Peter Mandelson, the minister in charge of the dome, promised more when he unveils the names of dome designers next month.

When Michael Heseltine first thought up the Millennium exhibition he assumed it would be a straightforward expo, showing off British products and designs. It was David Mellor, then Heritage Secretary, who suggested that if the lottery was to pay for the dome it should have at least an element of fun in it.

So far we know the dome will be divided into nine wedge-shaped zones, each with a theme. In one, the question "Who are we?" will be answered by a huge human body inside which visitors will be able to examine man's internal organs in detail.

A religious zone, put in to meet the demands of churches, will be designed to cater for all denominations.

Another zone will look at the world of work, with a snakes and ladders game showing the joys and pitfalls of careers. There will be an imitation rainforest in a section on where we live.

A total of 365 towns will be invited to take over parts of the dome for a day and to show off what is best about their own areas.

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