Expo’s Tree of Life won’t be moved to Milan centre

But about 10 Expo Milan 2015 pavilions will be saved.

Expo Milan 2015’s commissioner Giuseppe Sala has dashed the hopes of those who hoped to see the Italy pavilion’s Tree of Life reassembled in the city once the exposition closes at the end of October.

Speaking to the media over the weekend, Sala said he had told a meeting of the “Expo after Expo” committee, convened to discuss the future of the site and its elements, that “apart from the hardware, [the tree] lives on very delicate and expensive software, which makes sense only when it is seen by tens of thousands of people, like in a major theme park.”

Operation of the tree is expensive,” he added, “so I would exclude reassembling it in the city.”

Over 10 pavilions will be dismantled and reassembled elsewhere, either in the country which had built and operated them, or in the city of Milan. Sala was not yet prepared to go into detail on the fate of every pavilion, “But honestly, it would be a shame to knock down Pavilion Zero,” he added. “It’s my favourite, I’ve said so since day one, and we’ll need to find a solution.” Pavilion Zero provides and introduction to the Expo Milan 2015 site, with its story of human evolution and development within the important framework of nature.

Sala has planned a meeting with the Italy pavilion commissioner, Diana Bracco, in the course of this week. This structure will remain on site, he said, and should become a focal point for some major project to involve the entire Expo area. But not at once, since it would be dangerous to have people accessing the pavilion while 3-4,000 workmen are breaking down other structures all around it.

The other major post-Expo issue will be the costs. Anti-corruption president Raffaele Cantone told the media he had told the same meeting that we won’t know how much Expo Milano 2015 has cost by the closing date. The main problem, he said, was the extra cost caused by delays and by changes of plan needed to have everything ready for the opening, despite the corruption his team had uncovered.

On the other hand, Cantone claimed his system of checks to exclude organised crime had proved to be a successful model that should inspire new rules for contracts in the future.