The first national hunting exhibition in Hungary was held in 1871, and was primarily a specialist forum for hunters. To mark the 100th anniversary of that event, the World Hunting Expo was held in Budapest in 1971. Prior to that, similar events had been staged in Vienna, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Florence and Novi Sad, but there was no precedent for the major series of events of the kind organised by Hungary in 1971. Some two million tickets were purchased for the exhibition – two hundred thousand by foreign visitors from various parts of the world.
In addition to presentations by professional organisations, the 1971 Expo was also a major social event. Organisation of that event – which in the era of the Iron Curtain achieved a significant number of visitors even by today’s standards – was also supported by international organisations such as The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which has been supervising world exhibitions since 1928.
The 1971 Expo presented the role of hunting and the multi-faceted relationship between people and nature. The Expo was realised through the work of hundreds of people, and was housed in a 30,000-square metre pavilion set in a 34-hectare park. Thirty-five countries from the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia and America participated in the event. In the Expo’s trophy show nineteen countries displayed antlers, horns, tusks and other trophies of the game species hunted in their territories. The 1971 event presented the situation of hunting around the world, and Hungary’s achievements in hunting, conservation of game stocks and game management. It also laid the foundations for Hungary’s high reputation, and the prestige which our country has enjoyed to this day.
The 1971 World Expo represents a memory that abides to the present day among hunters, nature lovers and conservationists – both Hungarian and non-Hungarian. It is therefore understandable that on the Expo’s fiftieth anniversary we should fittingly remember it with a commemorative year: we are preparing a colourful and diverse series of programmes, the main event of which will be the internationally important central exhibition at the HUNGEXPO exhibition and conference centre in Budapest between 25 September and 14 October 2021. This will not only be a fair, but also an exhibition showcasing
and using state-of-the-art technology (AR, VR, etc).
The Exhibition will use the latest technology to authoritatively and expressively present to the general public and the relevant specialist audience the values related to the sustainable use of nature.
Foreign countries that accept Hungary’s invitation to officially attend will be able to showcase themselves on their own stands. Following the event the majority of the exhibits presented at the Exhibition will find a new home in various museums.
One of the main attractions will be the Central Hungarian Exhibition, which will show how hunting culture is an integral and exciting part our country’s 1,000-year history. The Trophy Show will be a major attraction, in which visitors will be able to view the game of the Carpathian Basin and the world in active dioramas and other elements providing educational and visual experiences. There will be both outdoor and indoor displays of traditional hunting methods such as bowhunting, falconry, muzzleloader hunting and hunting with dogs and horses. The treasures of Hungarian waters will be presented in areas of water totalling more than 700 square metres, containing 1 million litres of water, with 2,000 individual fish from nearly 50 species.
The World Exhibition already has many organisations backing it, including the Ministry of Agriculture, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation, the Hungarian Equestrian Sport Association, the National Association of Hungarian Anglers, and the National Chamber of Hungarian Hunters.
One of the most important goals of the Exhibition is, by raising awareness across society, for there to be an increase in the conservation and love of nature in Hungary, and in the importance of the idea of rational, sober and prudent civilisational development. The Exhibition will contribute to enabling people to better understand: the importance of nature conservation; the concept and purpose of the sustainable utilisation of nature; and the usefulness and importance of – for instance – hunting, game management, angling, net fishing, management of fish stocks, forestry and forest management.