As soon as you entered the main entrance, the Palais du Commissariat Général was on the right.
It was intended to receive the Exhibition's guests of honour. It was also intended to be a palace for the decorative arts of Liège. We tried to create an architecture that would suit this purpose and create a setting worthy of the sumptuous receptions that the Commissioner General was called upon to give. This is the reason for the choice of rich materials for the façades and the luxurious interior decoration.
Thanks to the generosity of Baron de Launoit, several local artists were given the opportunity to showcase their talent. It was a revelation for many.
The large fresco in the entrance hall was by the painter A. Dupagne. Highly colourful, it evoked the industrial country of the banks of the Meuse and the types of metal workers. An allegorical group crowned the entrance to the hall of honour.
The high bays of the rotunda of this hall were decorated with marvellous modern stained glass windows designed by a young artist with promising talent, J. de Géradon. They were artfully composed and treated with originality in well-chosen themes: water and mythology, water in nature, the poetry of water, water and industry, water and commerce, water and sport and an interpretation of the Albert Canal.
In the music room, a large panel painted by the excellent artist R. Crommelynck decorated the background. It was executed with great finesse - the tones were precious. The workmanship was reminiscent of the great masters of the Italian Renaissance. It was a very beautiful work, showing Neptune travelling through the seas, dragged by a quadriga, while in the background seaweed, sea anemones, shells of marvellous colours surrounded graceful undines.
The same artist had decorated the acoustic tympanum with three richly treated figures, representing Saint Cecilia, Orpheus and Sappho. A work by the sculptor Wolfers, "Diana the Huntress", elegantly treated in lacquer, decorated the music room.
The pictorial decoration of the dining room was entrusted to the very sensitive artist Ed. Scauflaire. In the background, an immense painting on glass, treated in a very personal way, allowed us to admire a beautiful and colourful ensemble, drawn with an intense decorative sense. Above the large fireplace, simulating a tapestry, a drawing full of verve presented the arrival of the sea in Liege. It was a pastel of 9 by 5 metres, executed on the wall. This composition, which delighted the visitors, showed us that the painter had as much wit as talent.
The double doors of the dining room were decorated with dinanderie artfully executed by the specialist Maudoux. The city of Dinant had granted a subsidy for the execution of this work. A "Young Wallonia" full of distinction, the work of the talented Victor Demanet, provided the desirable sculptural element. Two very well drawn frescoes decorated the walls of the Commissioner General's office. They were the work of young artists Mlle Decock and M. Saive. The sculptor Xhrouet had modelled the elegant statues bordering the water mirror.
© General Report - International Water Technology Exhibition - Liège 1939