05:21 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performs in front of the Duomo with a concert to inaugurate the Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy, April 30, 2015

    Italy Opens Grand World Expo 2015 Amid Protests

    © REUTERS / Flavio Lo Scalzo
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    Italy opened the Milan Expo 2015 in hopes of showcasing global food, culture and technology despite ongoing national protests.

    Italy opened the Milan Expo 2015 on Friday in hopes of showcasing global food, culture and technology despite ongoing national protests.

    Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said the event will be a test for the future of Italy after years of stagnation and recession.

    Cultural events, futuristic architecture, a "supermarket of the future" and dozens of restaurants fill the site. More than 140 countries are taking part, with 54 national pavilions. China, an increasing presence in Italy after a string of high-profile business acquisitions, is particularly well-represented.

    But the Expo, where the theme is sustainable food production, has already faced a corruption investigation that saw several top officials in the organizing group arrested, cost overruns, and construction delays that meant large parts of the site were not ready for opening day.

    The anti-Expo campaigners see the event as a showcase of waste and corruption. Pope Francis referred to the irony of a global mega-spectacle keen on promoting sustainable development and feeding the poor.

    Cultural events, futuristic architecture, a "supermarket of the future" and dozens of restaurants fill the site. More than 140 countries are taking part, with 54 national pavilions. China, an increasing presence in Italy after a string of high-profile business acquisitions, is particularly well-represented.

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    Tags:
    sustainability, exposition, campaign, protests, Milan Expo 2015, Pope Francis, Italy, Milan
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