More than 160 years of expositions
More than a century and a half ago, in London, the revolutionary idea of creating a common space where different countries from the five continents would share its progresses and contributions to the planet took place. Thus, in the context of industrial revolution, the first International Exposition was held at the English capital in 1851. At this edition, close to six million people attended the event to see what the 44 participant countries had to offer, and as an architectural legacy, the exposition built, among others, the Science and Natural History Museums of Victoria and Albert. Moreover, it built the historical Crystal Palace, another emblematic symbol of the exposition, which was destroyed during a fire in 1936.
Since those days, 34 international expositions were held and they were officially recognized by the Bureau International des Expositions –BIE-, which was born in 1934 in order to preserve the tradition of this sort of fairs. The main purpose of this expositions is to leave a legacy to the mankind; this could be represented by a construction –like the Eiffel Tower or the Chicago Wheel, that were created for the international expositions of Paris 1889 and Chicago 1893, respectively- but also by technological and science proposals, usually aligned with the central topic suggested for the exposition.
Each international exposition takes place at least within five years intervals with the former one, and it usually lasts for six months. Expo Shanghai, the last edition, took place in 2010 and it lasted for six months. This exposition was celebrated to be the most visited expo of all times, with more than 71 million visitors among tourists, exhibitors and academics. It spread out for almost 5,2 square kilometers, all reserved for the pavilions.