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China - Expo Paris 1878

China at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1878
Architect(s) : Sun-Ksing-Keng

In order to see the whole of the Chinese exhibition, it is necessary to complete the exploration of the galleries of the Champ-de-Mars with a walk through the Trocadero. It is there, near the Delessert gate, that the architect Sun-Ksing-Keng had these curious constructions built by Chinese workers, annexes to the Exhibition proper, the important parts of which came ready-made from Ningpo, ready to be erected, although it took a long time.

They consist of two galleries forming a pavilion in front, separated by a courtyard at the back of which stands another pavilion. Needless to say, the corners of the red roofs of these black and gold pavilions rise up towards the sky as if to witness their good behaviour. Between the gigantic fangs of the moustaches of those which end the galleries facing the Seine, two porcelain warriors, who look at each other as if they were earthenware dogs, add considerably to the local colour of the exterior ornamentation, where illumination vies with sculpture and carving and where dragons and chimeras indulge in fantastic sarabands.

As for the riches contained within, we would be repeating ourselves too much if we had to go over them. The important thing is that there is no trickery involved: we know that the 1878 Exhibition only admitted chinoiseries and Chinese (including the giant) of the most scrupulous authenticity - guaranteed on invoice.

©L'Exposition Universelle 1878