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Collection Inspection: World Expo 88

World Expo 88 marked a coming of age for Brisbane. Over six months, across 40 hectares, more than 16 million people flocked to the city to witness over 50,000 artists perform.

It was big, it was bright, it was the eighties. Tap dancers performed on a pink submarine on the Brisbane River. Kitt, the talking car from 80s US TV show Knight Rider chatted with passers-by. A street performer with a pot plant for a head amused the crowds. Through daily parades, the Aquacade, smoke machines and laser beams, Expo held its audience of millions enthralled. From 10am to 10pm every day for six months Expo visitors had something new to experience.  With 46 countries represented (including the last ever Expo pavilions for the USSR and the Federal Republic of Germany) people could travel the world in Brisbane.

Expo 88 is commonly regarded as Brisbane’s ‘coming of age’.  Indeed, the Expo experience held the formerly sleepy city bedazzled.

In this video, we explore Expo 88 memorabilia held as part of Museum of Brisbane’s collections.

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