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We discuss the topology of the symmetry groups appearing in compactified (super-)gravity, and discuss two applications. First, we demonstrate that for 3 dimensional sigma models on a symmetric space G/H with G non-compact and H the maximal compact subgroup of G, the possibility of oxidation to a higher dimensional theory can immediately be deduced from the topology of H. Second, by comparing the actual symmetry groups appearing in maximal supergravities with the subgroups of SL(32,R) anddoi:10.1088/0264-9381/21/6/025 fatcat:7676w3eldvgnrjwtct46zsi6ly