Athens Olympic Museum opened its doors to the public on Friday 14 May when Greece ended its lockdown and lifted its restrictions on the operation of indoor cultural venues. The museum is located in the Athenian suburb of Marousi in the Golden Hall venue.
The new museum explores the history of the Olympic Games and includes dozens of original items spanning thousands of years from ancient Olympia to modern Athens, where the Olympics were revived in 1896.
The permanent exhibition illustrates how Olympic Games evolved through time, sharing three important themes and periods: the birth of the Olympics (Ancient Olympia), their revival (Athens 1896), and the return of the Olympic Games to Greece (Athens 2004).
“We believe that the museum will support Greece’s contribution in the modern Games. The Athens Olympic Museum is an international museum that showcases the history of the Games highlighting the Hellenic Influence in the formation of the Olympic Movement. There is a special space dedicated to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and of course the Athens 2004 Olympic Olympic MuseumGames. It will be really worth a visit,” said IOC member and Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos.
The history of the Athens Olympic Museum creation
The Olympic Games from Antiquity to date; the spirit of fair play as a universal value; Greece’s critical role in promoting Olympism and Athens’ promotion as an Olympic Capital; paying tribute to Greek athletes and presenting the Greek Olympic and Paralympic Champions who have won medals. These are the basic imperatives for the foundation of the Athens Olympic Museum, together with offering an unprecedented experience to the visitors, an idea that was born during the 2004 period.
Based on the above rationale, the Athens Olympic Museum was designed and implemented according to international standards, and it is a member of the International Olympic Museums Network. It operates under the aegis of the International Olympic Committee and the Hellenic Olympic Committee.
In order to document the exhibits, the museum team has cooperated with over 40 national and international cultural bodies. These include top international museums such as the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City (Met), the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli) and the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection in Munich (Staatliche Antikensammlungen München), and Greek museums such as the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, the Benaki Museum, the Hellenic Literary and Historical Archive, etc.
Parallel to that, the donors’ contribution was invaluable, starting from the Greek Olympic and Paralympic Champions who offered medals and personal equipment. The same goes for members of the Olympic Family, private collectors and donors, as well as collections (Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection, Hellenic Post Philatelic Management).
Designed by local architecture firms KLab and Mulo Creative Lab, the museum’s design combines sports and culture in a monumental, minimalist and information-rich display. The Museum is also linked to the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens “Spiros Louis” (OAKA) with a footbridge, thus giving the visitor another opportunity to live a special experience, traveling back in time to the 28th Olympiad, the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.