In spite of the proximity of the Brussels Exhibition of 1910, Spain wanted to be among the nations which, in 1913, on the occasion of the Ghent World's Fair, brought Belgium their tribute of sympathy. This fortunate fact, if it proves the benevolent attention with which Spain and its nationals follow our efforts and our great events, was also due, to a large extent, to the efforts and perseverance of Mr. Fuis Agusti y Monjonell, the Spanish Commissioner. It was thanks to his efforts and his persistent work that the Ghent Exhibition was able to include a Spanish section.
The efforts of the distinguished commissioner were followed with benevolent interest and encouraged by the eminent Spanish Minister in Brussels, the Marquis of Villalobar.
Mr. Agusti's collaborators were Mr. Sebastian Conas Rizzo, Mr. Alexander Hess and the lawyer Poil; the Spanish Government, wishing to show its interest in the enterprise, delegated Mr. Gustave Thienpont, Spanish consul in Ghent, to lend Mr. Agusti his good offices; these contributions made the Spanish section one of the most attractive and interesting of the Ghent World's Fair.
With its yellow tones, its architecture combining Moorish and Renaissance elements, it represented in an original and captivating way the great sunny country, which combines the commercial activity of the Arab with the artistic sense of the southern man. Its architect was, moreover, a man whose praise is superfluous here, Mr. Van de Voorde, the principal architect of the Exhibition.
In the interior, pretty and dashing showcases, scattered in a flowery setting, contained products relating to some of the groups of the general classification, to the bookstore and printing industries, to the chemical industries, to the clothing industries, to food, to jewellery and to goldsmiths. The stands of this last group were very conspicuous; Spanish jewellery is known and sought after for its originality, good taste, and fine workmanship.
The great Iberian kingdom thus had a very interesting representation in Ghent in 1913; unfortunately, shortly after its inauguration by our Minister of Industry, a fire destroyed the pavilion and the riches it contained.
The Commissioner, Mr. Luis Agusti y Monjonel, far from being discouraged, endeavoured to reconstitute a new section in the Avenue du Belvédère; the exhibitors sent in a new shipment of their products, which could still be submitted to the jury's appreciation.
©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle & Internationale de Gand 1913