The artefacts in the Olympic Museum’s collections are representative of a wide range of historical eras, and it is the museum’s job to build, preserve and share this unique heritage. The museum always strives for consistency in its collections, which are developed within the scope of the financial and logistical resources available.
Acquisitions and donations
Items may only be included in the museum’s holdings if they are relevant and enrich a specific collection. They must have proven documentary, historical and cultural value. They should be easily identifiable, with clear authenticity and origin.
Their preservation should not pose a risk to the preservation of other items, and their acquisition should not impose unacceptable conditions on the Olympic Museum. Their restoration should not place a disproportionate burden on the museum’s budget.
The museum may refuse any donations of items that do not meet these criteria or are surplus to the requirements of the museum’s collections. It reserves the right not to exhibit items received.
The Olympic Museum is always on the lookout for material that can fill gaps in its collections. It mainly focuses efforts and funds on acquiring items that are rare or under-represented in its collections, including sports equipment from before 1984, athletes’ uniforms from before 1964, ceremony outfits from before 1988, artefacts from the first Olympic Games in the modern era or items with a link to former IOC Presidents Demetrius Vikelas and Avery Brundage.
Every two years, during and after each Olympic Games, the museum refocuses its priorities on collecting emblematic paraphernalia such as winners’ medals, official posters, mascots and athletes’ equipment, and artefacts illustrating Olympic values, the ceremonies, Olympic heritage and promotion of the host country’s culture.