The world trade fair in Milan in 2015 will have more country pavilions than any previous universal exposition, with 60 pavilions compared with 42 at the previous fair in Shanghai in 2010.
According to the latest figures on the Expo Milano 2015 website 141 countries have now signed as participants, with Bosnia/ Herzegovina and Poland the most recent signatories.
The chief executive officer of Expo 2015, Giuseppe Sala, has also pointed out with considerable satisfaction that there will be more pavilions from Asian countries than at the Shanghai event and that there have been several unexpected requests for pavilions from African countries, among them Angola.
However the favourable international response is causing some hurried re-thinking by planners who are now trying to find enough space for everyone. One of the main themed pavilions, Art and Food, will now be relocated to the Triennale design museum in the centre of the city.
In mid-December the first 26 lots at the Expo site near Rho to the northwest of the city were consigned to country and corporate participants who will have access to the grounds from mid January.
The United Kingdom is opening its two-stage competition for its pavilion in the third week of January to find a winning combination of creativity, design, construction expertise and content.
On 22 December a television campaign promoting Expo 2015 in Italy was launched with the first 30-second spot on the theme “Italy made of Italians”. A competition is also now running to give a name to the Expo 2015 mascot designed by Disney Italia, which is a modern take on the work of the 16th-century Milanese painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
The theme of Expo Milan 2015, which will run from 1 May to 31 October 2015, is “Feeding the World: Energy for Life”.