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 (excluding women).

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 totality
(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.


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