Louvre Museum Announces a Special Exhibition Dedicated to the History of Modern Olympics

In April, the Louvre Museum will host a special exhibition dedicated to the history of the modern Olympic Games later this year. The exhibit will be part of a series of cultural events that will accompany the 2024 Summer Olympics, which are set to take place in Paris, France, from July 26 to August 11.

Olympism: Modern Invention, Ancient Legacy exhibition aims to help visitors “discover how and in what political context the first modern Olympic Games came into being in the late 19th century, the iconographic sources on which they were based, and how the organizers set out to recreate the sporting competitions of ancient Greece,” according to a press release shared by Louvre Museum.

The exhibition will particularly highlight the role of France in the modern Olympics and notable French figures who contributed to the cause. This includes Pierre de Coubertin, who co-founded the International Olympic Committee and is considered the “father of modern Olympic Games,” Michel Bréal, who “invented” the marathon race and suggested its inclusion in the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, Dimitrios Vikélas, who served as the first president of the International Olympic Committee, and Émile Gilliéron, the official artist of the 1896 Olympic Games.

The exhibition will feature a number of artifacts from the ancient Olympics as well as items from the modern Olympics. The most notable item on display will be the first Olympic Cup, known as “Bréal’s Cup,” which Bréal designed and had an anonymous French silversmith create for the winner of the first marathon race at the Olympics. This will be the first time that “Bréal’s Cup,” loaned from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, is exhibited in Paris.

Olympism: Modern Invention, Ancient Legacy exhibition opens on April 24 and will remain on display until September 16.

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