Cuddly ambassadors spell panda-monium for Dutch zoo

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Netherlands zoo prepares for brand new giant pandas
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Netherlands zoo prepares for brand new giant pandas
A person arranges stuffed pandas in a shop of the Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen on April 6, 2017 prior to the arrival on April 12, 2017 from China of two pandas named Wu Wen and Xing Ya. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Piroschka van de Wouw / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW/AFP/Getty Images)
A shop dedicated to pandas at the Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen is pictured on April 6, 2017 prior to the arrival on April 12, 2017 from China of two pandas named Wu Wen and Xing Ya. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Piroschka van de Wouw / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW/AFP/Getty Images)
RHENEN, April 6, 2017 : Photo taken on April 5, 2017 shows the panda toys sold at Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, a town in central Netherlands. The 'Pandasia' at Ouwehands Zoo in the Netherlands will house giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen, which are expected to arrive on April 12. (Xinhua/Gong Bing via Getty Images)
RHENEN, April 6, 2017: Photo taken on April 5, 2017 shows the panda toys sold at Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, a town in central Netherlands. The 'Pandasia' at Ouwehands Zoo in the Netherlands will house giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen, which are expected to arrive on April 12. (Xinhua/Gong Bing via Getty Images)
RHENEN, April 6, 2017: Photo taken on April 5, 2017 shows the panda toys sold at Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, a town in central Netherlands. The 'Pandasia' will house giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen, which are expected to arrive at the Netherlands on April 12. (Xinhua/Gong Bing via Getty Images)
RHENEN, April 5, 2017 -- A man makes 'panda cakes' in a pastry house of Rhenen, the Netherlands, on April 5, 2017. The 'Pandasia' at Ouwehands Zoo in the Netherlands will house giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen, which are expected to arrive on April 12. (Xinhua/Gong Bing via Getty Images)
A picture taken on January 10, 2017 shows the inside of the new the giant panda base 'Pandasia' at Ouwehand Zoo in Rhenen. The giant pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya are expected to their new residence in spring 2017 and will be imported from Shiqiao village, Qingchengshan county, west China's Sichuan province. / AFP / ANP / Robin van Lonkhuijsen / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on January 10, 2017 shows the new the giant panda base 'Pandasia' at Ouwehand Zoo in Rhenen. The giant pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya are expected to their new residence in spring 2017 and will be imported from Shiqiao village, Qingchengshan county, west China's Sichuan province. / AFP / ANP / Robin van Lonkhuijsen / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands will welcome its first giant pandas this week at a zoo fitted out with a pagoda-style enclosure as its new centerpiece, crowning 16 years of hard lobbying by Dutch animal lovers.

To celebrate the arrival of Xing Ya and Wu Wen, the Ouwehands Zoo in the central town of Rhenen commissioned "Pandasia", a complex of buildings that will house the couple on its ground floor and a Chinese restaurant on the floor above.

SEE ALSO: Scientists discover reasoning behind the black-and-white coloring of panda bear

Rare, picky in their diet, and reluctant lovers, pandas are in demand from zoos all over the world, and the ceremonial bestowing of a loan panda on favored countries has become a hallmark of Chinese cultural diplomacy.

Dozens of Chinese companies contributed to the building of the new enclosure.

"I think it'll be a major attraction," said Lisette, a visitor undeterred by the higher entrance fee the zoo will now charge. "I can imagine the costs it has to taken to make it happen - they have to get something in return."

Ouwehands is hoping the cuddly ambassadors will one day produce cubs - though zoos around the world have discovered that few things in nature are harder than getting pandas to breed.

Xing Ya and Wu Wen will be quarantined for several weeks before being transferred to their enclosure, likely in late May, the zoo said.

Related: Meet two giant pandas who just made their U.S. debut:

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