Now in its 22nd year, Carraramarmotec will be held from May 31 to June 3, 2001, in Marina di Carrara, Italy. And with a new name, a specialized area emphasizing restoration and conservation efforts, and an improved conference program, the International Fair for Marble, Machinery and Services is expected to attract more attendees than in years past, according to show organizers.

The exhibition will be held at Carrarafiere, which extends over 96,000 square meters, including over 20,000 square meters of covered space in three pavilions. Exhibitors will have the opportunity to showcase their latest innovations in stone products and stone maintenance as well as stoneworking machinery.

Because of the history of the region, IMM Carrara believes that Marina di Carrara is an ideal location to hold the fair. The area has 1,141 cutting and processing companies - employing approximately 8,000 workers - as well as numerous machinery manufacturers and service companies. More than 40 different types of Apuan marble are extracted from local quarries, producing over 1.5 million tons of blocks annually.

Additionally, another million tons or more of natural stone - mostly granite - is imported into the area. These materials, which primarily come from Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa and China, are fabricated and then exported again as finished products.

Last year's fair drew 863 exhibitors, which was a 13% increase from 1999, reported IMM Carrara, the show's organizer. Of these exhibitors,180 were foreigners hailing from 30 different countries. To further break down the total, 39% displayed natural stone products, 37% displayed machinery and 24% exhibited services.

New areas

This year, Carraramarmotec will feature two new areas, which are set aside for the restoration of natural stone and highly specialized services. IMM Carrara believes that the restoration of historical works of architecture and monuments has become an important issue over the years. And since Italy is developing significant scientific and technical expertise in this field, the fair is showing its commitment by creating this specific area for restoration and conservation techniques.

Visitors will be able to update their knowledge on restoration by learning about new techniques and tools as well as the latest research and studies and new generation of products, according to show organizers. During the fair there will also be a simulation of a "restoration workshop" showing the restoration of stone products, new techniques, new products and case studies, including recent experiences.

Conference program

In addition to the exhibitions, Carraramarmotec will also offer a variety of educational seminars. The annual IMM publication, which reviews trade over the previous year, will be presented to the stone sector. The report also includes comments and assessments along with a vast number of statistics on the year 2000.

In addition, the ICE (Italian Trade Commission abroad) and the CDE (Centre of Development of Enterprise) will hold a conference to discuss the action program aimed at developing stone companies working in ACP countries. The long-term agreement in place is designed to promote relations between Italian companies and the 71 countries who have undersigned the Lome Convention. The Web site created by the IMM to illustrate the stone industry in the ACP countries will be presented at the fair along with the important mission of Italian operators to Madagascar.

Another conference will focus on the renovation of stone in ancient monuments and modern construction work. During this period, the search engine created by the IMM to facilitate the exchange of information and trade will be introduced.

Carraramarmotec will also host a ceremony for the International Marble Architectural Awards 2001. Additionally, a seminar will be held where the winners will present their works. The conference program will also offer a training course on stone quarrying, processing and installation for architects, managers and technicians.