In past years, the size and international splendor of Stone+tec, the International Trade Fair of Natural Stone and Stone Processing Technology, have greatly expanded. Stone+tec '01 show organizers from N?rnbergMesse expect "well over 1,100 exhibitors" in the Exhibition Center in Nuremberg, Germany. The event will take place from Thursday, May 24 to Sunday, May 27 and will include an array of exhibits from more than 50 countries.

With international growth as the crux of the show's expansion, organizers stress the importance of Stone+tec 01's location. Germany, with its neighboring countries, remains one of the most important regions in the world for the use of high-quality natural stones. Germany itself has a large number of natural stone deposits and its stone industry can look back on more than a century of tradition. In addition, Walter Hufnagel of N?rnbergMesse explained that Nuremberg "has long been considered an important hub for trade in natural stone and stone processing machinery."

The over 46,000 trade visitors expected to arrive at the show will enjoy a complete range of product exhibitions. According to Roland Kast, project manager for Stone+tec '01, exhibitors will be featured in "three large theme blocks - natural stone for indoors, facades and outdoors; the spacious display of products for graves and monuments (processed and unprocessed natural stone, grave decorations, grave design and accessories); and the extensive range of natural stone technology." The remarkable number of Stone+tec exhibitors contributes to the show's growing international flare. According to statistics, in 1989 international companies made up only 25% of the show's exhibits, however, only 10 years later at Stone+tec '99, that number had increased to 61%. Stone+tec has also noted a 100% growth in the number of visitors in the past decade. The number grew from 22,418 people in 1989 to 46,052 in 1999.

To accommodate the rising popularity of Stone+tec, organizers nearly tripled the net space in a decade. With a gross display area of 90,000 square meters, the Exhibition Center at Nuremberg will host the show again. The exhibition halls are all at ground level, and ready-to use rental exhibition stands are available on request and can be supplemented to suit individual needs.

Special presentations

The Deutscher Naturwerstein-Verband (DNV) and Bund Deustcher Architeken (BDA) organized the competition for the German Natural Stone Award 2001. The theme of this year's competition is "facades of finished buildings." The jury was chaired by BDA President Heinrich Pfeffer and included architects and natural stone and processing experts from DNV. The prize - valued at over $25,000 - was unanimously awarded to Berlin architect Volker Staab for the New State Museum of Art and Design in Nuremburg. According to The Stone Report, the museum's facades facing the town wall and Luitpoldstrasse are designed in a "reddish quartz sandstone, a typical Nuremburg stone that is quarried locally. The 2,800 square meters of facade slabs with their rough-sawn finish are suspended without joints using stainless steel anchors. They are between 5 and 6 centimeters thick and 50 x 100 centimeters in size." In addition to the German Natural Stone Award, the Peter Parler Award for outstanding work by stonemasons in the field of preservation of historic buildings and monuments will also be presented. Award presentations will take place as part of an Architect's Forum at the show on Friday, May 25.

Other highlights of Stone+tec '01 will include the special shows, "Stone Ambiance under the motto of 'material mix'" and "Individual Gravestone Design: Living and Remembering." There will also be presentations on natural stone processing machinery and tools, European cathedral building lodges, and many examples of stonemasonry and sculpture skills.