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PARIS, 1867In the years before the calamities of , Paris was a marvel to behold.
Visitors who had not been to Paris in a decade or more were astonished to experience the dramatic transformations in the look and life of the city.
Many among this group will meet together to propose to the Imperial Commission a subscription by which the government may share the costs of this enterprise.
It was time for the French people to proclaim once again that Great Britain was not the only nation capable of showing off its national resources of industrial and artistic talent.
Eleven years after the first Great Exhibition of 1851, the British had proved to the world that it was no easy matter to repeat a resounding success.In 1867 Paris was a harvest banquet, a rich repast where all the fruits of autumn were there on the Champ de Mars for all to enjoy.But by the end of the fifth act in 1871, Parisians were reduced to trapping rats for food.Victor Hugo was commissioned to write the introduction to the that year was a showcase for the intellectual power of France's writers, just as the great oval palace on the Champ de Mars would be the showcase for her industrialists and artists.It is possible that the was meant as a response of Renan’s earlier criticisms in his stinging 1855 essay, "The Poetry of the Exposition." The literary world was now included in the grand exposition, and some of France’s best writers had their chance to speak to the world.