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Olympic Museum in Lausanne to be Renovated

The Olympic Museum is to be completely modernised over the next few years. The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Executive Board decided last week in Acapulco (Mexico) to invest in an ambitious renovation project. “The effort agreed upon to increase the appeal of our Museum confirms the IOC’s commitment to the city of Lausanne and the development of the Olympic capital”, IOC President Jacques Rogge was pleased to announce.

After 17 successful years, which have seen it welcome over 3.3 million visitors, the most popular Museum in French-speaking Switzerland deserves more than a face-lift. An ambitious museographical, architectural and landscaping programme will allow this institution, which combines sports and culture, to offer its visitors a new experience. The museographical approach will be completely re-thought and will incorporate the latest technological innovations. The park will also be redeveloped and will allow a more harmonious link to be created with the neighbouring Elysée Museum.

The project also involves considerable work to the building to bring it into line with the latest norms in terms of safety, respect for the environment and working conditions. The scale of the work planned will not allow for the building to continue to be used during the work.

The Olympic Museum will be closed for a period estimated today at 20 months, depending on a schedule that it still to be defined. The team running The Museum will inevitably be reduced during the Museum’s closure. The staff members whose position unfortunately cannot be maintained will be supported and assisted individually in their professional development.

Furthermore, everything will be done to keep the presence of The Museum alive in the Olympic capital, especially through a presence in the gardens and through joint ventures with other Lausanne and canton cultural institutions. Olympic Week, which for 30 years has brought together thousands of children, sports clubs and volunteers at the invitation of The Museum and the City Council, will also be maintained during the work.

The whole process depends on the final acceptance of the land-use plan, which is currently being submitted to Lausanne City Council. As soon as the plan is accepted, a construction permit request will be submitted for a public inquiry. In the best-case scenario, the work could begin 2012.

The Olympic Museum is a world-class museum where visitors – from all nations and cultures, young and old, Olympic fans or not – feel, experience and understand the complex and enthralling
story of the people – individuals or groups, sportsmen and entrepreneurs, heroes and ordinary people – who come together to make Olympism contribute to a better world through sport.

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