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On a day of celebration in Egypt-- I thought it might be cool for us to consolidate a few views of the country's past World's Fair and Expo Pavilions-- beginning with these shots of their most recent entry at Shanghai's Expo 2010. If you have others to share-- please post them into this thread!

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Two thoughts: I attended the fairs in NYC and Montreal but never saw the Egyptian pavilions. I do recall the TIME magazine article after the NYWF closed in 1965 and there was a reference to a statue of Ramses outside of the Egyptian pavilion being "gutted" on the closing day. I guess that is the statue to which the article refers that we see in that photograph.

Secondly, it is interesting to see the rather small Egyptian pavilion at Expo with the ski slope roof of the massive Soviet pavilion just behind it.

I hope that Egypt will get the democracy its people seek. There is a great deal at stake and profound uncertainty in this situation.

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I've grown to the point (perhaps with age) to believe that instant 'wave of the magic wand' democracy may not be the best thing for a country with a high degree of illiteracy who are easily swayed.

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AYPO Seattle, 1909. Not really a pavilion... but a popular amusement attraction, nonetheless.

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Streets of Cairo was a village kind of display and show that was at Chicago 1893 (the Columbian Exhibition), then appeared again at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, then again at AYP in 1909.

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Here's a trivia question. The same person represented Egypt at World's Fairs 40 years apart. Who was this person?

The answer is.....

Little Egypt. Both appearances were at the World's Fairs in Chicago.

Real name: Farida Mazar Spyropoulos

She danced in the Egyptian Theater at the Columbian Exhibition in 1893 at the age of 22, and danced again at the Century of Progress Exhibition in 1933 at the age of 62. But by 1933 Sally Rand had taken over as queen of that genre of World's Fair entertainment.

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I think there was a Streets of Cairo at the Pan American Exposition (1901, Buffalo) as well. I will check my guidebook. Egypt certainly holds a wonderful grip on the imagination and always has. I will add that the destruction and looting of the Cairo Museum was truly disheartening. However, the scenes of the human chain formed to protect it from further damage was inspirational.

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Egypt certainly holds a wonderful grip on the imagination and always has.

Egyptology has often had a grip on the cultural senses. There was a wave of popularity (fashion, etc.) soon after the worldwide news of Howard Carter's discovery of the royal tombs in the 1920's, and the mythical curses that went with it. Boris Karloff kept it going with the Mummy movies in the 30's and 40's. Cecil DeMille doing his big-time treatment on Egypt in The Ten Commandments. Elizabeth Taylor putting a super glamorous spin on the historical character of Cleopatra. Omar Sharif getting the lead in the movie Doctor Zhivago.

It never seems to go away. It's not at the top of the list, but right up there are memories of Steve Martin's 1978 rendition of King Tut on Saturday Night Live.

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live//video/King-Tut/1037261

I liked the Pink Panther's 1968 visit to Egypt:

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Or try this version

Listen to it then try telling me you don't have an urge to walk with your arms in the same pose!

Around 2000 we were in London for a few weeks and my kids got a kick out of a children's show that had a "Walk Like an Egyptian" segment each day. Our hotel room was small but they enjoyed parading around it nonetheless.

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This was a big enough U.S. release in 1963 that it was featured at the Hollywood U.S.A. Pavilion at the World's Fair the next year.

Now Angelina Jolie is slated to be the next Cleopatra.

Victor Buono took a turn as King Tut too, back in 1966.

With characters available like King Tut and Cleopatra, it seems everybody wants to either be an Egyptian or walk like one. :D

Next our President will try to steal JFK's line and say 'Ich bin ein Egyptian'.

Maybe what Egypt needs is to adopt a British-style constitutional monarchy, with a Pharaoh. People would soon forget that royal wedding of Wiliam and Kate in London.... I mean who would want to miss the coronation of a Pharaoh live in HDTV?

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Don't forget Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra in the 1930's and those original Mummy films (was it Boris Karloff who played the role in those early films?).

But the fascination goes back centuries. For example, the Romans were enthralled with all things Egyptian and archaeologists have found the ruins of a temple dedicated to Isis in Pompeii. Of course, Julius Caesar and Marc Antony got into big trouble when they were blinded by the glories of Egypt and Cleo herself.

The discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 damn near lead to a war between Britain and France in the early 1800's over who would get to keep it and unlock the key to the hieroglyphs which could not be translated until the secrets of the Stone were revealed. The Brits got to keep it and they kept Egypt, as well, for over a century.

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Two years ago I was in Rome and saw Egyptian obelisks seemingly everywhere. Our guide explained that there are 13 obelisks spread around town that were brought back from ancient Egypt by the ancient Romans. The early Popes wanted to end the local populace's worship of Roman gods, so they looted most of the marble from the ancient Roman structures like the Colisum in order to build the Vatican and other cathedrals around Rome. But they notably left the Egyptian artifacts like the obelisks completely unscathed.

Last year I was in London and got to see the Rosetta Stone. Quite a crowd of people around the Rosetta Stone display, but only a few people looking at the Acropolis marbles.

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Those so-called Elgin Marbles belong back in Athens. When Lord Elgin stole them from the Parthenon, most ended up in London (some in his own collection) but two ships full of those treasures sank in the Med. Sea and were lost. Greece has petitioned for a century to get the remaining ones back and wanted them for the 2004 Olympic Summer Games. No deal.

Just last month, Egypt petitioned Germany for the return of artifacts belonging to Rameses. Again, no deal.

Another Cleopatra film? What's the point? None of them ever get the story right and the 1960's version cost a fortune and yielded almost nothing in return.

I know there is at least one obelisk in NYC--the so-called Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park. What is amazing is that, even today, historians are not fully certain how those things were transported and then raised into position. There are theories but none are for certain. And we have to remember, the Egyptians built those things (along with the pyramids) without the use of the wheel or iron tools.

Isn't that an Egyptian obelisk in St. Peter's Square?

Egypt has the right to ask to have every single one of them returned to them. It would be like the USA declining to a third rate power and some nation's treasure seekers coming in and taking the statue of Lincoln out of the Memorial in DC and sending it to their home country.

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According to what I read this evening, the new Cleopatra script is quite different than the 60's version. That one portrayed her as a sexpot, using romance and lust to advance Egypt's position relative to the Roman Empire.

The new version apparently casts Jolie as a strong government and military strategist leader and downplays the sex/romance stuff. Historical accuracy? Who knows.

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