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Worlds Fairs: Barcelona International Exposition 1929

1929 Ibero-American Exposition

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: expo 29 | barcelona | ibero-american exposition |
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These two Expos took place the same year, in the same country (Spain) but had different backgrounds (usually the Barcelona is the one recognized by the BIE).
The Exposición Internacional de Barcelona (1929) took place from 20 May 1929 to 15 January 1930. Twenty European nations participated in the fair and also private organizations from the United States and Japan participated. The idea of a new exhibition began to take shape in 1905, promoted by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch when he published and article titled "A votar! Per l’Exposició Universal." in the newspaper "La Veu de Catalunya" (Source:  ), as a way of fostering devevolpment emulating the previous 1888 Expo in Barcelona, to carry out the urbanistic plan designed by Léon Jaussely. While originally scheduled for 1917 to display a "Exposición de Industrias Eléctricas" (Electrical Industry Exposition) the exposition was delayed due to World War I. Puig i Cadafalch's project was supported by the Fomento del Trabajo Nacional, especially Francesc d’Assís Mas, one of its leaders, who took charge of negotiations with the various agencies involved in the project. Thus, in 1913 the organization created a joint committee for organizing the event, consisting of representatives of the National Labor Development and the City Council, be appointed commissioners of the organization Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Francesc Cambo and Joan Pitch i Pon. In 1915, the committee presented a first draft by Puig i Cadafalch, which was divided into three specific projects, each commissioned to a team of architects. In 1925 the decission was changed from displaying Electrical Industry Exposition to becoming the Exposición Internacional de Barcelona (Barcelona International Exposition). This change in purpose switched to three main objectives: industry, sports and arts. This was carried under the leadership of the Marquis de Foronda, with Pere Domenech i Roura becoming the Director of the constructions. This Expo was the first sanctioned under the BIE after its creation in 1928. As the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 was taking place simultaneously in
Seville, no Spanish American countries participated.

On the other hand, the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 was a world's fair held in Seville, Spain, from 9 May 1929 until 21 June 1930. The exposition was smaller in scale than the International Exposition held in Barcelona during that same year. The concept originated in 1909 by Luis Rodríguez Caso when he made public his idea to celebrate in Seville either a Exposición Internacional Hispano-Ultramarina (Hispano-Ultramarine International Exposition, a Spain International Exposition in Seville or a Hispanic-american International Exposition), in order to bring together former colonies of Spain and Portugal. The purpose of the exposition was to improve relations between Spain and the countries in attendance, many of which were former Spanish colonies and also former Portuguese colonies, and was also set to foster development in the city of Seville (which was at the time way behind other urbanistic centers of the country). The city was chosen because it was a common historical venue for all the parties (in Seville most of the expeditions from Spain and Portugal set sail to the New World, and also in Seville all the sources that came from the New World found deposit there). The idea for the Expo emerged from the fair called "Espana en Sevilla" (Spain in Seville) in 1908, to commemorate the first Centennial of the War of Independence, and was proposed in 1909 by Luis Rodríguez Caso. It was scheduled to take place on April 1, 1911, it was postponed and later due to World War I, problems with Spanish Morocco, and so forth.

The two Expos had one common flag and coat of arms. "In 1927 and with the purpose of promoting botht the Barcelona and Sevilla Expos, the flag and the coat of arms were approved that year becuase initially that was the original date when the inauguration was to take place. The flag was a Spanish flag with the same color scheme (red on top 25%/ yellow in the middle 50% /red on the bottom 25%) and three coat of arms's in the middle, on the left the coat of arms of Seville, in the middle the coat of arms of Spain and on the right the coat of arms of Barcelona as seen here.
In fact this image showing this flag, shows actually the Greater Coat of Arms of Alfonso XIII of Spain, with Golden Fleece and Order of Charles III Variant  instead of the coat of arms of Spain. Also, the coat of arms of Sevilla and the coat of arms of Barcelona  are somehow a litle different in detail than the version showin in the picture of the flag.

Since the inauguration did not take place in 1927, in April 1929 another flag was approved, having three vertical stripes: the one closest to the pole was dedicated to display the national (Spanish) colors and had three equal stripes (red/yellow/red), the middle vertical stripe was to display Portugal's colors (in no specific order mentioned), and the third vertical stripe was dedicated to America composed of ten horizontal stripes in white and green as the Standars and Ensigns of the Conquerors seemed to be, according to the investigations carried out by Teniente de Navío (Navy Captain) Julián Guillé, whom had also designed the blueprints for the caravel Santa María (which was the main ship in which Chiristopher Columbus set sail to discover America) ."

The coat of arms  was designed by painter Santiago Martínez.

For additional information go to: Barcelona 1929 Expo

Sevilla 1929 Expo
Esteban Rivera, 05 May 2012