Expo 2010 Shanghai has come and gone and left quite the legacy, but exactly what that legacy is seems to be an open question.
Lauded as the biggest event ever, the "Business Olympics" and the "most successful World's Fair," the critics have labeled it everything from a triumph that's left a generation of Chinese with "new iconic structures and new iconic moments" to "a limp prawn sandwich."
An event this size can never be everything to everyone, but hey... at least they tried! We took a look around the net this morning to bring you a sample of these varying perspectives with an emphasis on Adam Minter's coverage on his excellent blog Shanghai Scrap. Adam, both a huge fan of Expo in general and an early outspoken critic of the USA pavilion in particular, has covered the event in depth since the beginning. He makes a great case for Expo's success in one post, while getting a wilting review from the UK Telegraph's Shanghai correspondent Malcolm Moore in another, and it's all great reading, enjoy!
Shanghai Scrap: End of Expo: Why Expo 2010 Mattered
In this article: Adam takes the Western media to task for failing to ask regular Chinese why they endured sweltering heat and long waits for short visits to pavilions and decries the overused "free ticket plus lemming-like behavior" response. Meanwhile, foreign Expo workers are "uplifted" by the fact that they are, for many Chinese, the first foreigners they ever meet in person, and proud of their roles as ambassadors.
Shanghai Scrap: End of Expo: Malcolm Moore, Expo Critic, Is Undeterred
In this article: Adam interviews Malcolm Moore, the man responsible for the "limp prawn sandwich" quote mentioned earlier. A highly entertaining read.
Shanghai Scrap: End of Expo: DeluxZilla offers some thoughts
In this article: Adam interviews DeluxeZilla's Zachary Franklin. Zach lauds the success of the Expo in the face of the global financial crisis and explains the important role pavilions, which he calls "temporary embassies," played in this highly trade and business-oriented event.
The Telegraph UK: Shanghai Expo: Take a stroll down to Axis of Evil square
In this article: Malcolm Moore gives his initial response to Shanghai Expo 2010, he's not a fan.
The Malaysian Mirror: Shanghai's record-breaking World Expo 2010 comes to an end
In this article: Western perspectives on the success of an incredibly huge and complicated event, as well as a Chinese response that seems to support the notion that Chinese attendance did include some element of lemming-like behavior.
Xinhua News: Expo roller coaster leaves dizzying legacy
In this article: The Chinese media frames the Expo as testament to cultural collaboration.
CNNMoney.com: China cranks up the innovation machine
In this article: An interesting "then and now" juxtaposition between the isolationist China of Emperor Qianlong's day: "We... have no use for your country's manufactures," and the China of today—where China's rapacious appetite for "new manufactures" opens a world of opportunity, as well as risks, to the West.
Montreal Gazette: China's $42-billion Expo 2010 legacy
In this article: The massive payoff for welcoming 72 million fair-goers to Shanghai.