Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (3rd R) attends the closing ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo at the Expo Cultural Center in the World Expo Park in Shanghai, Oct 31, 2010.[Xinhua]
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao declares the closure of the World Expo 2010 at the Expo Cultural Center in Shanghai, Oct 31, 2010.[Xinhua]
A closing ceremony is held in the Shanghai Expo Cultural Center for the expo Sunday evening. [Xinhua]
SHANGHAI - The 184-day Shanghai World Expo came to the end as a closing ceremony started here Sunday evening.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and other dignitaries attended the ceremony.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said the Expo has made China and the world come closer together, and a more open, inclusive and culturally advanced China that steadily moves forward will join other countries in the world to usher in an ever brighter future for all.
He said the Expo spirit will be carried forward from generation to generation.
"I am convinced that the vision of 'Better City, Better Life' will become reality," he said.
President of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) Jean-Pierre Lafon said Shanghai World Expo is an "astounding success".
"Shanghai shows that with a talented organization, a willing to succeed and an excellent international communication campaign, a World Expo always brings out a true fascination," he said.
The BIE flag was lowered and handed over by Han Zheng, mayor of Shanghai, and Hong Hao, director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, to Letizia Moratti, mayor of Milan, and Giuseppe Sala, CEO of the Milan Expo 2015, via Lofon and BIE Secretary-General Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales.
Premier Wen declared the Shanghai World Expo closed.
The first of its kind staged in a developing country, the event attracted 246 participating countries and international organizations and 73 million visitors. Both figures are records in the history of expos, the first of which was held in London in 1851.
On an area of 5.28 square kilometers, the Expo Site has become a global village where people can not only see rare cultural treasures from around the world -- the bronze chariot and horse sculpture from China's Warring States period (AD 475-221), the statue of Athena from Greece and French impressionist masterpieces, for example -- but also get a taste of the diversity of the world's cultures through more than 20,000 cultural events.
The gala is eyed in China as another event of national splendor after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games showcased China's status as an economic and political power to the world.
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