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2010 Expo: Follow the urban footprints

2010-04-17 13:59 BJT

Special Report: Shanghai World Expo 2010 |


The theme for the Shanghai Expo covers five conceptual areas: Urbanian, City Being, Urban Planet, Footprint, and Dream. Five themed pavilions have been established accordingly to reflect the overall theme of "Better City, Better Life".

Over the past four years, the Shanghai Museum has been taken on the task of planning the exhibition inside the Urban Footprints Pavilion. They have attempted to present a clear timeline of the urban development of humanity.

The 20 thousand square meter pavilion is divided into four exhibition halls: "Ideal Fantasy City" makes up the lobby, while "City Origin", "Urban Development" and "City Wisdom" are the three major halls. Objects and multi-media displays chronicle city development over the past five millennia.

The "Ideal Fantasy City" hall presents fresco replicas from Yulin and Mogao Grottoes in Northwestern China, and Tang Dynasty Buddhism sutras and Buddha sculptures, as well as a 3D display of ancient Greek society.

Chen Xiejun, curator of Shanghai Museum, said, "The three-thousand square meter hall is the prelude of an urban development journey. The vision is pictured here to reflect people's unremitting pursuit toward ideal cities, and how the five thousand year progressing has changed people's lives."

In the "City Origin" Hall, the Tigris and Euphrates civilizations are disclosed by the lion embossment on the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. Also, there is a model of the City of Ur that rises up out of the sand, reflecting its history as the earliest location on Earth at which a city originated. The exhibition also showcases how cities, trades, and civilizations developed along the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers.

In the Hall of Urban Development, Byzantium becomes Constantinople, and finally appears as Istanbul. And just around the corner, you see an ancient Chinese street. Traditional buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, as well as a market, harbor, and ships are shown.

Hu Jiang, PH.D of World Art history, said, "Here is a fresco in the Sienna City Hall of Italy called "Allegory of Good and Bad Government", created by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. It shows urban and rural development in commerce, economics, and politics, as well as the disadvantages. A harmonious society has been an eternal pursuit throughout time."

And in the "City Wisdom" Hall, environmental protection, as practiced in cities worldwide, is the highlight. This is also where ancient China's canal civilization and early commercial prosperity are displayed.

The evolutionary history of a city is the process of human beings seeking wisdom. Through these exhibitions, visitors may be able to learn more about the Expo's theme "Better City, Better Life".

Editor: Liu Fang | Source: