Let the tale begin...
The Olympic Games in Antiquity reflect ancient
Greek culture. Although they are of another era, they are an inspiration
for the establishment of the modern Olympic Games, a fertile ground
for discussion and comparison.
The Games took place in Olympia in honour of Zeus.
Their origin is shrouded in legend… and their foundation is thought
to have been 776 BC.
The Olympics were the most glorious religious and
athletic event of the ancient Greek world. Renowned and prestigious,
they attracted a huge number of athletes and spectators.
All free Greek citizens had the right to participate
Victory at the Games was the highest honour for an
athlete. Victors enjoyed special honours from their city; and often
myths were created of their exploits.
During the Games, a sacred truce was agreed: all interstate
hostilities were suspended.
The Games’ long history shows no shortage of stories
of violated rules, broken truces, bribed athletes, political exploitation
and hostile criticism.
Gradually, the link between religion and the athletic
ideal waned and the Games became a professional athletic spectacle.
In 393 BC the Olympic Games were abolished permanently...
Tales of Olympic Games
A unique exhibition
The modern Olympic Games belong to our era.
Their raison d’etre, the way they are organized,
their ceremonies and symbolism
reflect modern reality, not ancient tradition.
The Games are not only about the athletes.
The Games are not just a question of records and numbers.
Hidden behind the statistics, the medals, the records are
important ideas, experiences, questions – about
participation and exclusion, rivalry and competition,
victory and defeat, commitment and exertion,
the athletic ideal and commercialization.
The Games concern everyone participating in them,
in whatever way.
They have to do with individuals and social groups,
cities and countries. They have to do with the global village
– with all of us. They speak of symbols, heroes and myths.
Because of all this we have chosen to cover their
(although we have focused exclusively on the summer Games).
We have selected words and images from the historical material
as the starting point for our tour.
The exhibition is solely an opportunity, a challenge
to think about the Games without preconceived ideas.