舉辦帝國博覽會的構想
The Idea of An Empire Exhibition

EC001.jpg

Part of the floor plan of the International Exhibition in 1862, which was held at the Industrial Palace at South Kensington in London. The building was demolished after the Exhibition ended.

 

1862年倫敦萬國博覽會的平面圖的其中一部份。這場博覽會在倫敦南肯辛頓的工業宮殿舉行,展館在展覽完結後隨即被拆毁。

The floor plan of the Great Exhibition in 1862 | 1862 | unkown; The Illustrated London News (London) | magazine clipping | paper | 27.3 x 38.7cm

 

1862年萬國博覽會平面圖 | 1862年|未明;《倫敦新聞畫報 》(倫敦) | 雜誌剪報 | 紙張 | 27.3 x 38.7釐米

In 1851, Britain organised the Great Exhibition in London to showcase the United Kingdom’s industrial and commercial supremacy to local and overseas visitors. The exhibition also provided Britain with the first opportunity to present all its colonies at once. By displaying exhibits from the country and the colonies, it symbolised the sovereign and included its overseas possessions to the country’s imagined community. Many similar exhibitions would be held in Britain until the outbreak of the Second World War.[1]

The idea of an Empire exhibition was first proposed by the British Empire League in 1902. In November 1910, Lord Strathcona Donald Alexander Smith (vice-president of the Franco-British Exhibition) and the Hungarian-born impresario Imre Kiralfy raised the idea of the British Empire Exhibition again during a public meeting. The outbreak of the First World War disrupted the plan.[1]

On June 7, 1920, the British Empire Exhibition was officially announced at Mansion House. It would be the largest exhibition in Britain since the Great Exhibition of 1851. There were proposals to hold it at Crystal Palace (which hosted the Great Exhibition of 1851 and also the Festival of Empire of 1911), White City or Hendon (a newly developed suburban area). Ultimately, Wembley, south-west of Hendon, was chosen for its proximity to railways and accessibility to central London.On June 7, 1920, the British Empire Exhibition was officially announced at Mansion House. It would be the largest exhibition in Britain since the Great Exhibition of 1851. There were proposals to hold it at Crystal Palace (which hosted the Great Exhibition of 1851 and also the Festival of Empire of 1911), White City or Hendon (a newly developed suburban area). Ultimately, Wembley, south-west of Hendon, was chosen for its proximity to railways and accessibility to central London.

In 1920, an Act of Parliament was passed, which authorised the British government to become a joint guarantor and share half of the £2.2 million organisational costs for the British Empire Exhibition. In addition to public funding, other donations to the Exhibition came mainly from industrialists and the Exhibition’s investors. King George V and Edward, the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII) also agreed to be patron and president of the British Empire Exhibition.

英國曾在1851年舉辦倫敦萬國博覽會,藉以展示英國的工商業成就。這場博覽會亦為英國提供首次同時展示所有殖民地的良機。透過來自英國及其殖民地的展品,這場博覽會象徵了英國的主權,並將殖民地納入英國的想像的共同體當中。在第二次世界大戰爆發前,英國多次舉辦類似的博覽會。[1]

舉辦帝國博覽會的建議首先由大英帝國聯盟(the British Empire League)在1902年提出。在1910年11月,唐納德.亞歷山大.史密夫.斯特拉思科纳男爵(LordStrathcona Donald Alexander Smith;法英博覽會的副總裁)、匈牙利裔製作人姆雷.奇拉希(ImreKiralfy)等人在一次公開會議上提出舉辦大英帝國博覽會,但計劃因第一次世界大戰爆發而中斷。[1]

在1920年6月7日,英京賽會在倫敦市長官邸內正式宣布籌辦。這是自1851年萬國博覽會以來,英國舉行的最大型博覽會。關於博覽會的舉行地點,曾建議選址水晶宮(曾分別於1851年及1911年舉辦萬國博覽會及大英帝國節)、白城或亨頓(新發展的城郊區域)。位於亨頓西南面的溫布萊,因鄰近鐵路及方便往返倫敦巿中心成為最終選址。

在1920年,英國通過國會法令,授權英國政府成為英京賽會的聯合擔保人,並分擔220萬英鎊成本的其中一半。除了政府撥款,博覽會主要依賴工業家及博覽會投資者的捐款。喬治五世國王及威爾斯親王愛德華王子(後來的愛德華八世國王)亦同意成為英京賽會的贊助人及總裁。

[1] Hoffenberg, P.H. (2001). An Empire on Display: English, Indian, and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War. Berkeley, Los Angeles; London: University of California Press.