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Disney 'could take over Millennium Experience'

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Disney, the host for Minister without Portfolio (aka Dome Secretary) Peter Mandelson's fact-finding mission last week, could be brought in as operator of the Millennium Experience.

A spokesperson for the New Millennium Experience, the company which is headed by former Millennium Commission chief Jennie Page and which is currently in charge of the £758 million project, refused to rule out the possibility when quizzed by the aj this week.

The us firm, famous for visitor attractions such as Disney World, was described as offering 'valuable input' which could be taken on board in the long-running saga of the Dome's content.

But Dome observers may be appeased by the leaked news that designer hp:icm is to design a huge human body as one part of the Dome, which visitors can walk through and explore. Dubbed the Millennium Man athough it is of 'indeterminate sex', the figure will be around 20-40m tall and will feature working arteries, veins and internal organs, although nmec would not be drawn on what might be in store in the brain section or whether the organs to be explored would include male or female genitalia.

Millennium Man figures as one section of just one of between nine and 12 zones, which are now clustered around a central piazza rather than the too-expensive theatre drum. At the moment these zones are Body, Mind and Soul in one cluster, Local, National and Global in another, and Work, Rest and Play in another. Unsurprisingly, the Millennium Man fits into the Body category, but there are unlikely to be any more tasters of the other ideas in store.

Other architects may be brought in to aid the Millennium Man's construction underneath the 50m-tall Dome. 'It will be very strong, very visual and quite breathtaking,' said the spokesperson.

As for the construction timetable for the Dome, the nmec said that it was well on track, with installation of the roof set to begin in spring this year. The Dome is set to be fully complete and ready for fit-out by the autumn.

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