SHANGHAI, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao declared the closure of the World Expo 2010 at the Expo Culture Center in Shanghai Sunday night.
A ceremony was held here to celebrate the end of the Expo, which International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) President Jean-Pierre Lafon called an "astounding success."
The first of its kind staged in a developing country, the event attracted 246 participating countries and international organizations and 73 million visitors. Both figures are records in the history of expos, the first of which was held in London in 1851.
On an area of 5.28 square kilometers, the Expo Site has become a global village where people can not only see rare cultural treasures from around the world -- the bronze chariot and horse sculpture from China's Warring States period, the statue of Athena from Greece and French impressionist masterpieces, for example -- but also get a taste of the diversity of the world's cultures through more than 20,000 cultural events.
The gala is eyed in China as another event of national splendor after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games showcased China's status as an economic and political power to the world.