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The Fairground as a Geopolitical Playground: the Zagreb International Trade Fair and Cold War Circumstances

Mirna Meštrović
Aleksander Laslo

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 1.540 Kb

str. 14-20

preuzimanja: 547



Zagreb is a city with centuries-old tradition of annual fairs where the first modern international trade fair was or- ganized as early as 1864. The history of Zagreb International Trade Fair begins back in 1909, when its predecessor, trade show named Zagreb Convention was founded and its first exhibition was held next year. Over the years the Fair changed its locations several times, due to physical limitations of the place available and lack of space needed. With the last relocation to its current location on the right bank of the Sava River, close to the cardinal city axis, Zagreb Fair gained far greater importance, propelling also further development of the city and giving decisive impulse to immediate construction of emerging Novi Zagreb. The construction of the first stage of new Trade Fair started in summer 1956 according to the spatial concept by architect Marijan Haberle. In only 115 days till the vernissage a number of 13 pavilions were built, there of 7 made for foreign countries by selected national architects. For the following event in 1957 the new Fair was completed, i.e. substantially enlarged to the extension plan by Božidar Rašica to comprise a total of 21 exhibition pavilions: nine for domestic exhibitors designed by renowned Croatian architects, and ten other ones for foreign exhibitors (USA, Austrian, BRD and DDR) in addition to the already ­existing one and also one more for collective foreign shows as well as one for domestic representatives of foreign industries. In the upcoming decade or so several new pavilions were built, the others changed owners or users. Above all,

however­ (new) Zagreb Trade Fair, generously arranged, embellished in time with fine landscaping and a number of open-air sculptural accents, was not only a prestigious international commercial event. Its premises became an ­unrivaled arena for most direct head-to-head competition of radically opposed Western and Eastern worlds, involving­ (following the establishment of Non-Aligned Movement 1961), also 3rd World countries in the famous AYA –

Africa­ -Yugoslavia-Asia exhibition hall.

Ključne riječi

Zagreb International Trade Fair, pavilions, New Zagreb

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