Expo Milano 2015 impounds Hungarian pavilion

After Russia, now Hungary leaves unpaid bills.

The Hungarian pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 has been impounded because of a series of invoices left unpaid once the exposition closed on 31 October and the administrative staff left Italy.

Construction company Redaelli from Concorezzo, near Milan, has claimed they were not paid by the Hungarian government company Carpathia, managers of the pavilion. The outstanding bills of almost €1 million were for construction of the three-storey building of some 2,000 sqm.

The company appealed to Milan courts shortly before the lights went out on Expo Milano 2015, and the pavilion has now been impounded.

The structure, described as a “shaman’s drum” because of its distinct appearance, was at the centre of controversy in April after criticism from both the architectural profession and the general public caused its designers to disassociate themselves from the building.

Hungary and Italy are the only two countries aiming to use the pavilion for research, development and education. It is planned to be disassembled and transported to the western Hungarian city of Szombathely to form part of a heritage protection centre.

The pavilion is believed to have cost close to €1.6 million.

The legal woes follow those surrounding the similar case of the Russian pavilion, where nine Italian suppliers complained that they had not been paid, triggering moves by the Italian government to intervene. Media reports say that seven of the nine have recently been promised payment, but there is no word on when the invoices will be settled, nor of what fate awaits the other two claimants.

Latvia, on the other hand, claimed they were still owed money they had paid up front to the exposition organisers before deciding not to take part in Expo Milan 2015.