Czech Republic's pavilion at Expo 2005 welcomes first visitors

The Czech pavilion

The 2005 World Exposition has just opened in the Japanese prefecture of Aichi. For the next six months, 125 countries, including the Czech Republic, will be presenting themselves at the Expo, which is expected to attract up to 20 million visitors from around the world.

For the organisers of the Czech Republic's exhibition the opening of the Expo means a culmination of three years of hard work. Martina Honcikova, is the PR manager for the Czech Republic.

"I have to say that my impressions are really the best. It's beyond our expectations, really. People have been in the pavilion ever since 9.30 this morning and it still hasn't stopped, they're coming and they are very much enjoying the pavilion, the object and the atmosphere. We get many visitors both from Japan and other pavilions as well who congratulate us on our exposition."

Martina Honcikova speaking on the phone right from the site of the Czech exposition, entitled "The Garden of Fantasy and Music" which is based on the interaction of sound, light, colour and movement. Visitors can play around with each and every object in the exposition, touch them and create visual as well as sound effects. I asked Martina to describe the atmosphere inside the pavilion.

"If you were here at the moment, you would see people making visual effects all over the pavilion, they are playing musical instruments, such as 'voices of stone', 'voices of metal', the 'water piano', etc. And they are just absolutely thrilled and it is a great sight for us."

The Czech Republic is also presenting its capital and regions as well as its ecological projects at the Expo. Among the additional programmes will be a Week of Czech Music and a Week of Czech Film. This time around the organisers of the Czech exposition have decided to go beyond the Expo grounds, even outside Aichi, to other Japanese prefectures. An exhibition of contemporary Czech glass art will be shown in Toyama accompanied by a symposium on Czech studio glass, and an exhibition of young Czech visual artists will be presented in Tokyo and other cities.