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05 Jul 2010

A Persian rug - a new treasure for The Olympic Museum collections

The collections of The Olympic Museum in Lausanne have been enriched by a magnificent Persian rug, offered on behalf of the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran by three Iranian cyclists. This 2x3m rug produced from wool and silk and depicting a polo match on a hunting ground, was made by Javad Eslimi and Dayee in the historic city of Ispahan. The work is meant to be displayed on a wall.

Leaving from Budapest, the three ambassadors - Seyed Kourosh Mojtabavi, Chairman of the Iranian NOC’s Sports Commission; and Ali Asghar Salavatian and Alireza Arabian Najafabadi, doctor and technician respectively of the group - travelled across Hungary, Austria, Germany and Switzerland to reach The Olympic Museum.

Seyed Kourosh Mojtabavi is the son of Abdollah Mojtabavi, a freestyle wrestling bronze medallist in the 67-73kg category at the Helsinki Games in 1952, who also took part in the London 1948 Games.

On 12 June, the Iranian NOC’s Secretary General sent a letter to The Olympic Museum Director announcing his intention to make a donation. He wrote, among other things: “In homage to the ideal of the Olympic Movement and on the occasion of Olympic Day 2010, this rug from the Islamic Republic of Iran, a symbol of sports and art, is being offered to The Olympic Museum.”

“We are very honoured by this donation,” declared Olympic Museum Curator Frédérique Jamolli at the donation ceremony. This project is a real message of determination and peace, and this rug is the symbol of the excellence of Iranian art and culture. We shall incorporate it with the greatest respect into the treasures of the Museum, patrimony of the IOC. This is totally in line with the spirit of our collections, which testify to the close link existing between sport, art and culture.”

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