Festival of Britain  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel


The Festival of Britain was a national exhibition held throughout the United Kingdom in the summer of 1951. It was organised by the government to give the British a feeling of recovery in the aftermath of war and to promote the British contribution to science, technology, industrial design, architecture and the arts. The Festival's centrepiece was in London on the South Bank of the Thames. There were events in Poplar (Architecture), Battersea (The Festival Pleasure Gardens), South Kensington (Science) and Glasgow (Industrial Power). Festival celebrations took place in Cardiff, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, Perth, Bournemouth, York, Aldeburgh, Inverness, Cheltenham, Oxford, Norwich, Canterbury and elsewhere and there were touring exhibitions by land and sea. The Festival became associated with the post-war Labour government of Clement Attlee and the South Bank Exhibition site (with the exception of the Royal Festival Hall) was rapidly demolished by the incoming Conservative administration of Sir Winston Churchill.

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