The Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai concluded an extraordinary six months of events and initiatives, exceeding 1.6 million in-person visitors and 13 million online accesses from all over the world. At the first universal exposition held in the Arab world, Italy confirmed and reinforced its leadership position in the enlarged Mediterranean, bringing to Dubai’s global platform hundreds of best practices and projects for the future drawn from its regions, its companies, and its political, scientific, cultural, and academic institutions.
Luigi Di Maio, Italy Foreign Minister, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai has offered Italy a unique opportunity to promote innovation, technologies, and new practices, to develop technology partnerships, as well as foreign investment opportunities, and international cooperation between companies and academic and scientific organisations.”
On the eve of the closing of the Universal Expo, the Italy Pavilion, a crossroads between tradition and innovation in accordance with the theme ‘Beauty Connects People’, was conferred two important awards: best Pavilion at the UAE Innovates Awards for the most innovative project in the ‘Best innovation that achieves sustainability’ category, and a bronze medal in the awards of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) – the Expo’s governance body – for the ‘Best Interpretation Of The Theme’. The BIE prize rewarded the uniqueness of the Pavilion’s exhibition itinerary whose highlight was the 3D reproduction of Michelangelo’s David, which was admired and reported in all major international and Italian media.
Paolo Glisenti, Italian Commissioner General for Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Italy leaves Expo 2020 Dubai with its head high, with international honorable mentions and commendations for having shown in its pavilion its points of excellence in the field of innovation, sustainability and creativity.”
In the last months, the Italy Pavilion had already obtained 'The Exhibitor Magazine (USA)' award for the ‘Best element in a Pavilion’s exhibition itinerary at Expo Dubai’, again thanks to the reproduction of the statue of David, and the ‘Best Entrepreneurial Project of The Year’ award from the Construction Innovation Awards (UAE).
A high point in the country’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai was the theme of education, which was the subject of more than 123 initiatives during the six-month Expo – ranging from labs to international conferences — addressed to students, teachers, and researchers from all over the world. The 140-day events dedicated to education were attended by more than 4,000 people of 26 different nationalities. The pavilion’s volunteers programme selected 60 young multilingual men and women from all over Italy out of the initial 8,000 manifestations of interest through the largest student mobilisation project of the last few years, to work as guides for global visitors, speaking to each one in their own language.
It is no coincidence that Italy’s legacy in this expo is focused on the development of education and research projects: the realisation of an Arab-Mediterranean campus and an advanced education research centre for the digitalisation and reconstruction of cultural heritage destroyed or damaged in zones of war, and a research and training campus on food processing. All these projects are already financed through Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).
The country’s institutions, including 16 regions and one autonomous province (the largest number of local authorities ever brought by Italy to an Expo), were key players in the pavilion’s vast programme of activities, which included 150 events with 7,000 participants and over 17 thematic exhibitions set up along the exhibition itinerary.
Italy brought over 180 cultural, entertainment and sport events on the stages of Expo 2020 including 40 large music and dance shows; 22 forums, workshops and meet and greet events with sport champions, including Italian medalists at Tokyo 2020 and at the Beijing Winter Olympics; 16 theatre performances; 56 concerts with 23 artists in the weekends dedicated to the public of Expo in ‘Piazza Italia’ and approximately 30 screenings of auteur films.
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