IN SEARCH OF A NEW LEASE OF LIFE (1956-1968)

1957

For the first time, the exhibition is open in the evening. In the same year, as a side event to the Foire de Paris, the “Antique Dealers’ Fair” is held at the Grand Palais.

1959

A landmark moment in the history of the Foire de Paris. Michel DEBRE, the Prime Minister at the time, chooses the Foire de Paris as the venue for a meeting of the 6 members of the Common Market.

1960

First appearance of the Village de France which, in just a few years, will become the jewel in the crown of the event. “The most sensational new exhibit ever at the Foire de Paris” proclaimed Le Figaro on May 17. Its 30 fully equipped prefabricated houses nestle around a church and bell-tower.
The village is so real that the organisers even marry a couple of young visitors right there in the Foire de Paris.

1968

The Foire de Paris feels the full brunt of the fallout from the events of May ‘68. On the very day that the event begins, the metro workers go on strike. Visitor numbers fall, but almost 400,000 people still pass through the turnstiles.
The Foire de Paris survives, but the approach needs to be revised. If the Foire de Paris is to continue, the organisers need to put their house in order, review their approach and give the whole event a new and coherent image.