Posted on June 26, 2013

The “OLYMPICS – Past & Present” exhibition, the largest of its kind, organized by the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum, showing both ancient and modern Olympic Games and narrating the history of the Olympics in ancient Greece and their reestablishment in modern times, will close on Sunday, June 30, 2013.

Organized in partnership with ExxonMobil Qatar, the exhibition includes two different sections highlighting ancient Olympia and the modern Olympic Games and showcases a large number of objects from the collections of the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum and QMA’s Media Collections.Additional pieces from around the world including Greece, France, Germany and Italy complement the exhibit.

The ancient section of the exhibition, Olympia: Myth – Cult – Games, takes visitors on a journey through the history of ancient Olympia with more than 600 original objects from Greece and international museums.Through this section, visitors can explore the sanctuary of Olympia, its role in ancient Greece,find out more about the Greek culture and the festivals held in Olympia and they are invited todiscover the program of the ancient Games and practice some contemporary disciplines.

The modern part, Olympics: Values – Competitions – Mega Events, sheds a light on the background of the rediscovery of Antiquity during the Renaissance leading to the reestablishment of the Olympic Games in the 19th century and their development to the present.

The visitors immerse themselves into a comprehensive display of all the torches, posters, mascots, medals, programs and tickets from the last 48 Winter and Summer Olympic Games. This section of the exhibition illustrates values and rituals of the Olympics promoting peace and personal achievements, as well as the broader context of this Mega Event and its interrelationship with politics, environment, economics, issues regarding gender and people with a disability and doping. A special section on Qatar’s Olympic history highlights the participation of Qatari athletes in the Games through a series of interviews with previous and current Qatari Olympians and Paralympians. 

“The exhibition is a huge success. Thousands of visitors took the opportunity to jump into this Olympic experience and discovered the Olympic movement from different perspectives. We are especially proud that so many schools participated in the educational program, which included practicing the old Olympic disciplines. Hopefully this inspired them to a more physically active life style”, commented Dr. Christian Wacker, Director of the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum.

The extensive education- and event-program including guided tours for schools and different institutions, gallery talks, a theatre performance, a film festival as well as a family fun day complemented the exhibition. One highlight is still to come on Saturday, June 29, 2013. Supported by Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, Mr. Chris Cannon, Archivist at the Wenlock Olympian Society, will talk about the History of the Wenlock Olympian Society, and how inspirational the Wenlock Games were for the revival of the Modern Olympic Games in the 19th Century. The gallery talk will start at 5pm and is open to the public.