(ANSA) - Milan, December 16 - Twenty-six countries taking part in Milan Expo 2015 received lots Monday for the construction of their pavilions during a ceremony at Milan's Triennale Museum. The countries receiving their lots were China, France, Israel, Switzerland, Ecuador, Germany, Kuwait, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Monaco, Japan, Oman, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Slovenia, Hungary, Mexico, Austria, Chile, Iran, Qatar and Romania. These countries will be the first to access the expo grounds to begin building their pavilions starting from January 2014. The corporate participants China Vanke, Case New Holland, and China Corporate Pavilion also received their lots. A lump of soil was the symbolic gift from the Expo to the heads of the participant's delegations. Expo Commissioner Giuseppe Sala said in his remarks that "today, Milan Expo 2015 has truly begun and it has become a reality, not only for those of us who work at its organization on a daily basis, but also, and most importantly, for the rest of the world". The Expo grounds "will soon become many construction sites within a single one," he added. "Organizational complexity will increase and we want to manage it throughout with transparency, security and in compliance with the rules". Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni noted that the World's Fair entailed the challenge of "construction within a given timeline on a pre-set budget and in full compliance with the law". Maroni pledged that Expo would be entirely "mafia-free".