Also the 2006 edition of the show of Saint Marie Aux Mines has finished, the exhibitors have made reentry to the manifold nations from which they originated and the same is worth for the visitors; by now also the fair structures that the resourceful organization of the fair has installed in the whole small French village have been removed and the country is returning to its normalcy; surely in this small French village this event represents an important tool of economic develop, over that a small international window, after the closing of the silver mine and the consequent end of all the connected economies as is possible to see in the degrade of the village. Perhaps also for this the Show of Saint Marie has necessity to expand more and more himself, to occupy new spaces, to attract a public more and more diversified and to guarantee more and more a wide range of exhibitors and offered products.
Having to express my feelings after the edition just finished, I have the impression that while for a long period of time such growth results natural, enthusiastically approved and supported by the world of mineral collection, in these last editions, it result a forcing, a push to growth only on one side (the organization) and not from the other (the exhibitors and the public).
If I have to express the point of view of the collector, to visit now Saint Marie look like more to a folklorist event or a touristical event, perhaps the feeling that stays and that such show in certain moments has lost the central element on which has risen and has developed: the mineral collection and a good part of collector seems to have realized this if we look the scarce flow of public in the days of Thursday and Friday, the total abandonment nearly of the show from the American and Japanese collectors , the very few new things proposed during the show. Walking among the stands of the show could be found of everything: from Mammuth reproductions to the experts of philanthropy, from the classical objects of the oriental philosophy to the sellers of curative systems, over obviously to the professionals of the forgery that clearly proposed for instance fantastic attached aquamarines on matrix with the aquamarine crystal of pure plastics: but should not be intervened for protecting the poor inexperienced consumer from these clear frauds?
Other two non positive elements that have characterized this edition have been the scarce variety of the offered material and the excessive real duration of the show; in relationship to the first aspect it's possible to underline as probably the alone stands with material coming from China and from Morocco almost represented 50% of the total one of the exposures; as it regards the second aspect continuous the tendency to have an official opening of the demonstration to the public on Thursdays but the Tuesday and the Wednesday are already developed numerous bargainings, and this inevitably pushes the exhibitors to anticipate more and more the preparation of the own stands.
A last reflection, independent this from the organization, concerns the prices of the specimens of mineral offered: extremely varying, few rational and however inevitably and inexorably tall; obviously in the top dealer area, on purpose created, the prices were all with at least three zeros, in all the rest of the show the prices were with at least two zeros!!! These considerations are more difficult to understand if we consider that the large majority of the offered material was of middle-low level and really few were the specimens of absolute relief.
With these evaluations I don't want to say that Saint Marie has been a disappointment, I am convinced that surely is one of the show dedicated to the world of the mineral more important to international level, what simply I think is that this show has partly to find again its nature, surely has to pursue a growth that however doesn't have to confine to the pure economic aspects but necessarily has to also understand other factors, what for instance a minimum of selection on the exhibitors and of the material statement, the predisposition of thematic shows of mineral (even in collaboration with museums or private collectors), the improvement of the structures espositive offered to the exhibitors, a minimum of grouping of the exhibitors for material offered, facilitations for the exhibitors that introduce novelty or however exposures of interest, and perhaps also a reduction of the tickets of entry!
Surely they are had to also underline a series of tied up positive aspects to this edition, for example the new spaces offered by the organization in which all the exhibitors have been gathered first disseminated in the giant tents, are a good solution from a logistic point of view, besides the numerous cultural events programmed enrich such show and finally also the facility offered to the visitors are good solutions on which is necessary to continue.
If I finally have to express an auspice for the future evolution of the Show in the next editions, I hope the organization work above all on some aspects, what:
Individualization of tools to guarantee an enrichment of the qualitative contents offered by the different stands
Reduction of a whole series of exposures that few have to do with the world of the minerals
Limitation of the real duration of the fair: in this way could be avoided days as Friday completely desert of public
Continuation on the road of the improvement of the infrastructures offered to the exhibitors and the public
...after this, and not without some nostalgia, I finish my considerations on this edition of the show and, as everybody, puts me waiting for the next edition!