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Bolivia - Expo Paris 1889

Bolivia at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1889
Architect(s) : Fouquiau

Two years ago, the Paris newspapers announced the arrival in our city of a wealthy American from the South who was issuing two thousand invitations for a big party in his hotel on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Mr. Arce, Minister of the Bolivian Republic in Paris, had in fact bought the hotel of the Berthier brothers for the misery of two millions the day after his entry into Paris, and the coat of arms of the legation shone on the door.

This extraordinary man, whose silver mines over there are said to be inexhaustible, became madly in love with this great Paris, with this rich and hard-working France, and he would not have left us without the universal suffrage of his country, which appointed him to the presidency of the Republic.

Once at the head of his country, one of his first concerns was to ask the Chambers for a credit for Bolivia's participation in the Universal Exhibition.

More fortunate than his colleague from Ecuador, Mr. Arce obtained three hundred thousand francs. And it was with these resources that his representative in Paris, Mr. Salinas Vega, chargé d'affaires, president of the committee immediately appointed, was able to have the very original Bolivian pavilion built, which is most curious to visit. He was assisted in his mission by a technical delegate of the Bolivian government, Mr. Andrès Bresson.

The pavilion is of a special style that is very reminiscent of modern Bolivian buildings, very original with its four towers and its somewhat bizarre architecture.

Inside, the visitor will find the most beautiful samples, remarkable ores, silver, copper, manganese, large anthropological and zoological collections, rubber, coca, coffee and all the raw materials.

The Bolivians must be excused if they arrived a little late at the Exposition; but it is not their fault. The distance is long, and there are no railways in Bolivia...

It is Mr. Arce who is building the first one and he brought twelve French engineers from here at his own expense a year ago.

It is to this good friend of France that we owe the Bolivian installation at the Champ de Mars, and it is, as the reader will see, very successful.

© Guide Bleu du Figaro et du Petit Journal 1889