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Over 2.5 million tickets already sold
Rome, August 8 - There are still eight months to go before the start of Milan Expo 2015, but the Italian pavilion at the World Fair is already a big hit. This week Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina revealed that 2.5 million tickets have already been sold for the pavilion and bookings were still coming strong.
"We have the absolute record of any pavilion" Martina said.
"Not even Shanghai (in 2010) had those numbers". "Italy has sold 2.5 million tickets, a record, and demand in pre-sales shows no signs of falling off". The 40-million-euro pavillion will be Italy's own showcase for its interpretation of the Expo theme, "Feeding the Planet. Energy for life".
This will give the country the chance to show off its well-known culinary delights, great wines and drinks, but also its cutting-edge technologies in many fields. Organizers have presented the logo for the pavilion, featuring budding flowers in the red, white and green of the national flag.
The flower buds hint at "the idea of a plant nursery" and bring to mind "the young and their future," in Italy, suggested Diana Bracco, general commissioner of the Italian pavilion section.
Italian pavilion sales make up half of the five million tickets already sold for Expo 2015 as a whole.
"We have gone past the five million ticket sales," said Expo Commissioner Giuseppe Sala.
"We have hit an important target. It's equally important that three million of these five million ticket have been sold in the Orient".
Martina said that the strong sales showed the public had faith in the way the Italian authorities responded after a corruption probe hit the event earlier in the year. "We had some difficult periods on the legality front but we faced up to them in an adequate manner," he said. "We are working very hard on it. We will pull it off".
Up to now 147 nations and entities have formally agreed to participate in Milan Expo 2015 and more than 20 million visitors are expected.
Preparations are under way at Expo's 1.1-million-square-meter site and it is hoped the event will be a big lift for Italy's recession-hit economy.