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Austria-Hungary - Expo Paris 1889

Austria-Hungary at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1889

The noisy discussions which took place in the Hungarian Parliament on the occasion of Austria-Hungary's participation in the Exhibition save us the trouble of telling the story of this participation at length. It is well known that the Austro-Hungarian Government has emphatically refused to take part in the Exhibition. Not only was every subsidy refused, but the government prohibited the individual subscriptions which had been opened in the territory of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy by the Chambers of Commerce, which realised the interest of the industrialists of the monarchy in being represented at the Champ de Mars.

In the face of this unwillingness, a committee was formed in Paris, composed largely of Austro-Hungarian industrialists living in our country. This Committee, which was all private, managed to raise the sum of 175,000 francs, which was used to organise and decorate the Austro-Hungarian Exhibition, which covers 2,400 square metres in the Palais des Industries diverses, and 300 metres on the Quai d'Orsay.

In addition, the Exhibition included two annex pavilions and two rooms in the Palais des Beaux-Arts.

The number of exhibitors was 325.

It would have been much higher, if the Commission had had more space available and if the great industrialists of Austria-Hungary had not understood too late the interest for them to participate in this Exhibition. Many applications were rejected, and the head of the section's secretariat, Mr. Max Dubski, had great difficulty in satisfying even the early participants.

The facade of the Austro-Hungarian section, which lies opposite the Belgian section, is formed by a grid of a rather happy arrangement. The interior of the section, decorated with cartouches bearing the names of the main cities of Austria-Hungary, presents a fairly complete picture of the country's industries. The most complete exhibition seems to be that of the Bohemian crystal works. Count Harrach and the knight of Schauen have sent products that are a real credit to Bohemian crystal. Garnets are not lacking either, and Mr. Schlecta's showcase is remarkable. Vienna leather goods are represented mainly by Klein and Baschinger, who sent a large number of objects, all with that special character that has been known for a long time.

The section also contains a number of curious displays of jewellery, and a large number of items of shoemaking, especially cheap luxury shoemaking, a branch of trade which seems to be expanding greatly in Austria.

An exhibition of carpets also attracts the attention of visitors. These carpets are sent from the Gienskey factory, whose products live up to their old reputation.

In the two annexes there are exhibitions of mining and wood. These are two of the riches of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Mr. Kiss of Nemensker and the Vegless estate have sent a whole range of their products which is of the highest interest.

In the galleries of the Quai d'Orsay, one finds everywhere Hungarian exhibitors who have sent wines, grains and corn of such a nature as to be of great interest to our wine growers and agronomists.

To sum up, the Austro-Hungarian exhibition, however limited, is very interesting and of such a nature as to make us deeply regret that political considerations prevented more numerous shipments, which would have further strengthened the links between France and Hungary.

© Guide Bleu du Figaro et du Petit Journal 1889