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Universal Exhibitions

In 1851, Victorian England launched the concept of an exhibition that would be truly universal (encompassing all themes) and international (all nations were invited).

Held in the Crystal Palace, designed specially for the event, the exhibition was a great success and had six million visitors.

It was devoted to mankind’s progress in the nineteenth century, and participating nations presented their industrial innovations; a large part of the exhibition was also devoted to the exoticism of the colonies. In 1855, France organized the second Universal Exhibition, and Napoleon III added an innovative element by reserving a large section to the arts (more then 5,000 paintings and sculptures).

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