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History of the Expo

The first world fair took place in London in 1851 in the Crystal Palace in the Hyde Park under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations". It showcased industrial products and crafts and resembled a funfair. "The Great Exhibition", as it is often called, was an idea of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, and was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. As such, it influenced the development of several aspects of society including art and design education, international trade and relations, and even tourism. It was at the 1867 World Fair in Paris that the participating countries began presenting their technological achievements and new products in national pavilions which are the main attractions and nowadays cost between 13million and 35million Euro each.

However, world exhibitions have changed direction over the years and now spotlight global problems and forward-looking solutions. Their main aim is to provide and share information in the areas of technology, research, business, communication, culture and entertainment.

Since 1928, world exhibitions have been officially registered with and recognized by the Bureau International des Expositions (B.I.E.), which has its headquarters in Paris. The 2012 EXPO has been awarded to the Korean city of Yeosu; the 2015 event will be hosted by Milan. Universal Exposition or Expo is the name given to various large public exhibitions held since the mid-19th century. After the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games they are the third largest events in the world in terms of economic and cultural impact.

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