Temporary structures and presentation of national contexts
The 1867 exhibition held in Paris marked a change in the structure of the International Exhibitions. The number of nations that now participated made it necessary to change the way the spaces were organised, not just to vary how the products were presented, but primarily to allow each country to represent their own cultural context as authentically and freely as possible. Distributed according to planned layouts and, significantly, according to the specific political and colonial situation at the time, various national pavilions were placed in strategic positions in relation to the emerging architecture of the host nation. While host countries tended to construct buildings and other structures, which were designed to remain after the exhibition and intended to project the cutting edge of technology, the “Eastern district” ‒ which included the pavilions of Egypt and the Ottoman Empire as well as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia along with all the other countries considered at the time to belong to the “Arab world” ‒ formed the most picturesque and popular area at all the International Exhibitions.
Façade of the Foreign Sections in Palace of the Champ de Mars [Paris Exhibition, 1878]


National Central Library, Rome, Italy

At the exhibition held in Paris in 1878 the Champ de Mars Palace was set among other façades within the “foreign” section. This forced and unnatural union of different styles, which was used in order to create an architectural “pastiche”, is typical of the International Exhibitions. Façades set along a linear path was a peculiarity of the so-called “Rue des Nations”.

See Database entry for this item

In this Exhibition
About the Exhibition
The official showcase of the nations
Temporary structures and presentation of national contexts
The diffusion of models and promotion of trade
West and East, fine art at International Exhibitions