Slovakia’s pavilion at Milan EXPO looks to the future

A FLYING car, traditional sweet pasty trdelník and gigantic Messerschidt lead the way for Slovakia's exhibition at the world EXPO exhibition between May and October in Milan. 

Gigantic Messerschmidt heads in front of the Slovakia's pavilion.Gigantic Messerschmidt heads in front of the Slovakia's pavilion. (Source: AP/TASR)

This is the fifth participation of Slovakia at EXPO since it became independent in 1993 and while its pavilion is one of the cheapest in Milan, it has attracted attention of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that ranked its terrace on the EXPO TOP 20 list. The terrace is partly open and is primarily designed for visitors of the Slovakia’s pavilion, the TASR newswire wrote.  

“Each similar appraisal, as that we got from the Italian daily, is huge encouragement for us and it is a clear proof that the Slovak pavilion is successful and scores also among demanding Italian journalists,” Martin Polák, general commissioner of the Slovakia’s participation at EXPO as cited by TASR.

Tens of thousands of people visit the Slovakia’s pavilion daily and Polák perceives costs of the Slovakia’s participation in Milan as very well invested money. The Economy Ministry has allocated €5 million without VAT for Slovakia’s presentation.

The Slovak pavilion stands at a lucrative place neighbouring pavilions of Japan and Russia and close to pavilions of Germany, Austria, United States, Monaco or Italy. It is a work by architect Karol Kállay and presents Slovakia, also thanks to presented technologies and start-ups as a young and innovative country. The aim is to present Slovakia as a country of the future with the theme “Next is Slovakia”.

Visitors of the pavilion can watch a video about the Slovak flying car AeroMobil, get information about unique plasma technology for extraction of crude oil and natural gas or solar recharger SolarHug in the form of a bracelet. The latter fits very well into the conception “Recharge Yourself” by which the Slovakia’s pavilion invites visitors.

The unique hydroponic system CropTech for raising plants at home excellently fits the main theme of EXPO 2015 “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

Presentation of Ecocapsule, a low-energy house packed into a compact form merging an energy efficient shape, compact volume and off-grid capabilities with the luxuries of a warm bed, running water and a hot meal, also draws attention.

Slovak folklore is presented by a tree made of folk musical instruments and the Moravian Venus sculpture created 23,000 years ago by an unknown artist is an evidence of understanding and prehistoric man’s deep respect for life and motherhood. This is also the oldest object at the whole EXPO. Elsewhere, naked figurines in the Villa Dei Mysteri by Alex Mlynarčík offer a possibility to leave a message on their skin.   

Outside of the pavilion gigantic copies of character heads which Baroque sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt created in Bratislava capture attention.

Those who want to see more can use glasses for virtual reality Oculus. Slovakia was the first country at EXPO 2015 that started using these glasses when later other countries joined too. It is a Japanese device but Slovaks supplied 3D animation and presentation which transfers the visitor ‘directly’ into the centre of Bratislava or Trnava, Slovak castles or mountain scenery.

“We do not present Slovakia through brochures but by an immediate experience as if you are at the Lomnický Štít peak or Spiš castle,” said Polák as cited by TASR.

Slovakia’s presentation at EXPO focuses on six themes: traditions, innovations, sports, culture, experiences and nutrition. In the restaurant designed in the Andy Warhol style that is part of the exposition visitors can get acquainted with the selection of the Slovak food and traditional specialties in a modern form, and in Slovakia shop the visitor can buy souvenirs and gifts, send a postcard from Slovakia, or buy a unique USB charger developed in Slovakia.

“We try to introduce our tradition but in a modern way,” said Polák. “We stress that Slovakia is a modern and dynamic country full of smart, innovative and talented people.”

Slovakia will get more space to present itself on June 24, its national day at the EXPO in Milan.

EXPO Milan opened on May 1 and will close on October 31. Slovakia is one of 145 participating countries. During the first month more than 300,000 people visited the Slovak pavilion. It is possible to visit the Slovak pavilion from the comfort of home virtually at the website

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