Officially sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions, twenty-five countries officially participated and a further five were unofficially represented. The theme was colonization, on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Congo Free State.
The fair attracted some twenty million visitors. Belgian architect Joseph Van Neck was the principal architect of the fair and of the Art DecoPalais des Expositions (also known as the Grand Palais), with its interior concrete parabolic arches, and four heroic bronze statues on piers.
Among many other contributors, Le Corbusier designed part of the French exhibit; the Belgian modernist architect, Victor Bourgeois, designed the Grand Palace, the Leopold II Restaurant and the Soprocol Pavilion. The Belgian art exposition prominently displayed the work of contemporary Belgian artists, including Paul Delvaux and René Magritte, boosting their careers.
The Palais des Expositions, and at least three other of the 1935 structures, were re-used for Expo '58 which was held at the same site in 1958.
Michel MARY, Adrien Van der Burch, Commissaire général près l'Exposition Universelle et Internationale Bruxelles 1935 in Annales du Cercle royal d'histoire et d'archéologie du Canton de Soignies, XXXVII, 2004;