Baku, Azerbaijan, May 1
On May 1, the 2015 Milan Universal Exhibition opened with the Azerbaijani National Pavilion as its part. Held under the motto Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, the event brought together 140 countries, only 54 out of them represented by their national pavilions.
It is the first time that Azerbaijan is represented at the level of the Milan Expo 2015, supported by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The foundation of the 4-level National Pavilion styled Azerbaijan: Treasure of Biodiversity was laid last June with a working group of almost 300 experts, both local and international, working hard on the project.
Boasting of an overall area of 1800 square meters, the Pavilion presents Azerbaijan's ancient history and deeply-rooted cultural heritage along with the rich environment, energy resources and unique biodiversity the country is widely recognized for. With its extarordinary concept and design, the Pavilion is to host a variety of presentations within forthcoming 6 months.
The Organizing Committee believes Azerbaijan was among the first countries to meet the requirements set forth to the participating states since the initial phases of the preparation to the Milan Expo 2015, as well as in terms of presentation of the Pavilion's format and content.
Meanwhile, foreign media and leading Italian channels named Azerbaijan as the leader in terms of the National Pavilion's construction and design. A number of national official delegations and the management of the Exposition emphasized a very specific concept of the Azerbaijani pavilion and its full relevance to the selected theme that makes it really stand out among the others. It should also be noted that Azerbaijan's successful performance was the major cause behind Armenia's refusal to partake at the Milan Expo 2015.
Three biospheres constitute the major peculiarity of Azerbaijan's National Pavilion. Crafted of intricate glass constructions, 10 meters in diameter each, these biospheres bear an obvious similarity with the Globe and convey the message of the Planet's fragility.
While the first level styled The Symphony of Sounds represents the history, culture and geography of Azerbaijan, the second level, is dedicated to the country's climate, landscape and biodiversity, and the third level, The Symphony of Tastes, presents the riches of the national cuisine by featuring a broad choice of natural organic foodstuffs. Finally, the last level has a restaurant offering a variety of mouth-watering Azerbaijani dishes.
Meanwhile, the presence of 9 climatic zones in Azerbaijan leading to the country's inclusion into the list of the 25 unique biodiversity areas by the international agencies also found its due place at the National Pavilion.
The possibility of instant and direct contact with Baku is a signature novice of the Azerbaijani National Pavilion. To accomplish this, a mirror-shaped human-size monitor ending with an undulating seat was assembled at the very entrance to the Pavilion, matched with an identical installation at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku. Constant communication between the two enables anyone standing in front of the monitor at the Pavilion to enjoy the view provided by the similar device in Baku. By the same token, residents and visitors of Baku get a unique opportunity to access the Azerbaijani Pavilion and its visitors at the Universal Exposition. By linking numerous visitors of Milan Expo 2015 with Baku, this project, styled Mirroring Baku, in a way, conveys the message of Azerbaijan's historic mission of the bridge between the East and the West.
It should also be noted that the Pavilion provides substantial information concerning domestic and international projects accomplished in Azerbaijan with a view to preserving the country's unique biodiversity, addressing environmental challenges, and protecting natural resources.
A variety of scripts for short video trailers dedicated to the issues mentioned above were presented to this day. The scripts mainly deal with issues like food security, agriculture, natural resources, pristine landscapes, social development, exports and globalization, infrastructure, cultural heritage, arts, environment and GMO prevention. The trailers are to be broadcast at the National Pavilion throughout the whole event to provide a visual exposure to Azerbaijan for the event's numerous visitors.
In the course of preparation to the Milan Expo 2015, photo and video sessions were held in various regions of Azerbaijan to provide an insight to the country's rich biodiversity, unique landscapes, natural resources, and site-specific hostoric landmarks. With this goal in mind, since April 2014 to February 2015, a series of missions to places like Baku, Ganja, Nakhchivan, Lankaran, Yardimli, Shamkir, Sheki, Gabala, Shabran, Guba, Khizi, Siyazan, Absheron and other districts were held.
A noteworthy detail to also mention hereby is that the Universal Expositions (Expos) are held once in five years, next only to the Olympic Games and Football Cups in attendance.
That being said, the present Expo is quite distinct even among the previous events of this kind. The number of national pavilions at the Milan Expo 2015, 54, is unprecedented in the whole history of the Universal Expositions, as well as the very fact that 6.5 million tickets were sold out 172 days prior to the Exposition's inauguration. No surprize, Italy is expecting a record number of 20 million tourists and visitors this year.
The Milan Expo 2015 will operate till October 31.