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Interview: Deputy mayor vows to show a different Paris at World Expo

2010-04-01 08:48 BJT

Special Report: Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

by Zhang Xin, Li Xuemei

PARIS, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Paris Deputy Mayor Christian Sautter has promised to show a different Paris during the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai from May 1 to October 31.

Sautter, who is also vice president of the Paris Ile-de-France Expo 2010 Shanghai association, told Xinhua in a recent interview the design team would show both the human and international sides of Paris during the event, drawing on its long history of civilization and its new technology.

The Paris association for Shanghai Expo began to prepare the flagship showcase two years ago. "We want to show Paris, spread knowledge about Paris and stimulate emotions for it. We hope visitors from Shanghai, China and Asia know Paris better and love Paris more," Sautter said.

He told Xinhua that, in the France Pavilion, there would be a simulated Seine formed by a huge three-dimensional ribbon. The ribbon will be four meters in width and meander for 80 meters, so that visitors can pass under or walk on it.

"It will be a pavilion of dreams, which is like a fairy land for children," said Sautter, adding there would be large screens on which films about Paris would be projected.

The film reflected the vision of two Chinese architects who lived in Paris and traveled around the metropolis' universities and markets, the Versailles Palace and the Eiffel Tower, and displayed the history, modernity and quality life of the city, Sautter said.

"Rather than just using show windows and television screens, we make a real Paris with technology and aesthetics," Sautter said, hoping the colorful show of Paris could be a blockbuster during the event and be appreciated by Chinese visitors.

He also expressed confidence in China's organization of the exhibition. China, the first emerging country to hold the event, should show the world "its economic success, technological ambition and magnificent history," he said.

China's chance to hold the grand festival of cities implied the same opportunities existed for other emerging countries, he said.

"Why not one day for India and Brazil? There are countries, new actors on the international stage," Sautter said. "China has taken a very good decision and I hope many French visitors will go to Shanghai to see what is happening."

The deputy mayor also said he saw similarities between Shanghai and Paris. "We see the traces of ancient civilization, and meanwhile, there is a kind of modernism explosion. I have confidence in the dynamism that Shanghai owns for rapid development, but I also think we should not lose the memory of history."

"So I think a dialogue between Paris and Shanghai may allow Shanghai to keep a consciousness and its historical heritages, and for Paris, this dialogue could help us be more dynamic in the economy, employment and international trade," Sautter said.

The two cities also had things in common concerning their devotion to achieving sustainable development, the deputy mayor said.

"We want to represent Paris as a good example of a sustainable city and the slogan of the Shanghai Expo 'Better City, Better Life' applies very well in Paris," he said.

The deputy mayor said Paris had passed a climate plan to cut the city's carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent between 2004 and 2020, and to use renewable energy for 25 percent of energy consumption in 2020.

Sautter, who will attend the World Expo in Shanghai, also welcomed Chinese people to Paris.

"Paris and Shanghai are distant in the map, but they are close to each other because they share the same ambition, that is 'Better City, Better Life'," he said.

Editor: Jin Lin | Source: Xinhua