(June 2012) Construction of Izmir’s new fairground has begun materializing: Tender for bids began in April as announced by the city’s mayor at the Marble trade fair (Turkish). A total of 337,000 m² are at the fair’s disposal near the international airport. During the first phase of construction a 93,000 m² exhibit area will be erected. Izmir will become the site of the „the world’s largest natural stone trade fair“, according to the mayor.

Afghanistan offers opportunities for the Italian stone industry. This was the object of the Minister of housing and urban development of the Islamic Republic during a recent visit to Rome (Italian).

Unusual variety of volcanic rhyolite is what Korean Flowerstones are made of. Aficionados see all types of blossoms and leaves emulated in the stone.

Latest news: „Natural stone as the central element in building and furnishing spas, wine bars, restaurants and shops“ is the topic of the first edition of Marmomacc Architecture and Design Competition 2012. Deadline for entries is September 2nd.

Numerous updates have been added to the list of stone sculpture symposia to be held this year.

London’s King’s Cross railway station has completed reconstruction work including installation of a noteworthy new roof and renewal stone plinths and windowsills carried out by Stonewest Company. The station now even official y refers to Harry Potter: a brick wall bears a plate which reads „Platform 9 3/4“ from whence the young wizard began his journey to Hogwarts (1, 2, 3).

Just in time for the European Football Championship stonemason Christian Lamaze presents his soccer-timepiece with the inscription „France 98“ in the internet in memory of the ’98 FIFA hosted by France. In the chapel in the stadium of Gdansk, the Polish magazine Nowy Kamieniarz discovered a stone-football under the altar, realized by the company Murkam. One as a fountain is placed in front of an Ucrainian stadium (1 2).

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has relaunched its website.

Exports by the Spanish natural stone industry were up +8.5% last year as compared to 2011 according to the Federación Española de la Piedra Natural (FDP) at this year’s Piedra trade fair. The increase was due mostly to new engagement in international endeavors (spanisch).

The foundation of a World Forum for Sustainability by the Universities of Resources is a proposal by the Mining Universities of St. Petersburg und of Freiberg (Germany). Both are the world oldest such institutions. A kick-off for the foundation might be made at the international meeting in Freiberg from June 10th to 12th.

Quetzcoatl and the sandstone sculptures of the plumed serpent is he subject of an exhibition in LACMA-Museum in Los Angeles until July 1st.

Video of the Month: CNN on the subject of stone inlay in the Sheik Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the works of the Italian-based Fantini Mosaici Company (1, 2, 3).