From June 21 to July 14, Minsk residents and guests will be able to see the largest private collection of Olympic awards and medals. The Olympic collection of Vladimir Potanin will arrive specifically for the second European Games. The exhibition will be presented to the general public for the first time.

A little more than two weeks are left before the European Games: on June 21, Belarus will host the most large-scale sporting event of the continent. On the eve of the Games it's time to remember the past high-profile sporting achievements in the international arena. For the first time, the Olympic collection of Vladimir Potanin, a large private collection of Olympic awards from all over the world, will be brought to Minsk for the start of the grandiose sporting event.

The Olympic collection is a unique collection of artifacts of all Olympiads, starting with the first modern games held in Athens in 1896 and ending with the XXIII Winter Olympics in Phenchkhane 2018.

To date, the collection includes about 400 exhibits. Among them are gold, silver, bronze and memorable medals, torches, diplomas of winners and participants, honorary badges, cups, figurines and horns from different years.

The auction value of award medals - from 2 thousand to 250 thousand dollars. The most expensive of them - nominal. Torches cost from 1.5 thousand to 170 thousand dollars - the price depends on the rarity of the torch. For example, a total of 100 torches were fired at the 1992 Albertville Games. Their design was developed by Philippe Starck, who is considered a cult figure in world design.

There are four champion cups in the collection, the most expensive of which was released for the Games in Paris in 1924.

The collection of the famous Russian entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin introduces us to the history and heritage of the sports movement and Olympism. In 2019, the collection decided to make available to the general public. Minsk will be the starting point of the exhibition project, then the Olympic collection will go on an international tour and will be presented at the XXXII Summer Olympics in Tokyo (Japan, 2020), XXIV Winter Olympics in Beijing (China, 2022), XXXIII Summer Olympics in Paris (France , 2024) and other major sporting events.

A series of exhibition projects is being implemented by a team of the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) led by the university rector, academician Lev Belousov.

“We consider the collection of Olympic artifacts of Vladimir Potanin as a kind of traveling exhibition of the history of the Olympic movement, examples of the triumph of the spirit of sporting nobility, the spirit of fair rivalry and friendship, the synthesis of education, culture, science and sport. It is symbolic that the first public exhibition will take place in the beautiful Republic of Belarus, with which we, the RIOU, maintain partnership relations. It is a great honor for us. There are a lot of Belarusian specialists among our graduates, ”said RIOU rector Lev Belousov.

The most interesting from the historical point of view part of the collection will arrive in Minsk. The exhibition will present the awards of the Olympic Games of the first half of the twentieth century, including the first Olympiad of modernity in 1896 in Athens and the XV Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952, in which the USSR national team took part for the first time.

In addition, the exhibition includes the Olympic facilities of the three significant Olympiads of the last decades for our country. These are the XXII Olympic Games of 1980, in which the Olympic flame was lit at the Dynamo stadium in the Belarusian capital. The 1994 Games in Lillehammer, in which the former Soviet republics first participated as separate teams. And the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the 5th anniversary of which coincides with the opening of the Olympic exhibition project.

The opening of the exhibition in Minsk will be held with the support of the Minsk City Executive Committee and the Museum of the History of the City of Minsk.

“The holding of the European Games is a great achievement for our country. This year, the life of the capital is more than ever filled with cultural events. And we are certainly glad that the city attracts international projects such as the Olympic collection. The opening of the Olympic exhibition in Minsk is another confirmation of the inseparable connection between culture and sport. The retro-perspective of the Olympic movement undoubtedly has great historical and artistic value, and the opportunity to touch the sporting victories of the past years inspires us all to conquer new heights ”, - notes the chief specialist of the department of cultural institutions and cultural and educational work of the Minsk City Executive Committee Marina Yasyuk.

The Olympic exhibition will open on June 21 in the building of the Minsk City Hall and will run until July 14. The Olympic collection is a non-commercial project, its main goal is to give people an inspirational charge before a significant sporting event, so admission will be free for everyone.

Visitors to the exhibition can not only see the Olympic relics, but also dive into their history. In this they will come to the aid of modern multimedia technology. Each exhibit of the collection will be accompanied by additional text and video materials that will allow guests to join the history of the Olympiads.