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KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon/PINA Nius Online) - Preparations for hosting the 10-day Pacific Festival of Arts 2004 are already well underway in the North Pacific nation of Palau.

Festival director and Minister of Cultural and Community Affairs Alexander Merep said a new state-of-the-art cultural center would rise in Medalau, Koror.

The construction of the new Belau National Museum is also expected to be completed.

Merep said the Compact Road, the new international airport and the new Capitol in Babeldaob will be ready for the international delegates from the Pacific region.

For the first time, Palau will host this major event which is held every four years.

Expected to attend the festival are over 2000 participants.

With the event being held in the North Pacific, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Marshall Islands are expected to be strongly represented.

The festival, which will take place from July 22 to 31 2004, promises to showcase Palau’s unique cultural features and natural attractions.

There will be a symposium on the history and development of the arts, as well as cultural and environmental preservation.

There will also be dances, musical concerts, traditional instruments, poetry reading, an exhibit featuring contemporary art forms, traditional skills and games, a culinary arts show, demonstrations on traditional medicine and healing arts, navigation and traditional canoeing, wood/stone carving, weaving, jewelry, tattooing, cloth and fiber making, pottery, paper making, and other cultural activities.

The delegates will also be brought to Palau’s other states, Merep said.

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