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10 May 2012
IOC News

Athens to host 18th World Olympic Collectors Fair

Collectors from all over the world will gather in Athens later this month for the 18th World Olympic Collectors Fair. Hosted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) from 17 to 20 May 2012, the fair will coincide with the handing-over ceremony of the Olympic flame by the HOC to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games on 17 May 2012 in the Panathenaic Stadium.

As part of the Fair, an Olympic Memorabilia Exhibition will take place from 15 to 20 May.

More details of both events can be found here.

Collecting items commemorating the Olympic Games started with the first Games of the modern era in 1896. Olympic stamps, issued to balance the budget of the Organising Committee, were the first Olympic collection objects, and have been the passion of several generations of philatelists. Collectors of Olympic memorabilia soon joined stamp collectors and, in 1951, when Olympic coins were struck for the first time, coin enthusiasts also joined the world of Olympic collectors. Today, Olympic collectibles are fascinating many Olympic fans, who chase after pins, stamps, coins and other memorabilia at each edition of the Olympic Games. During this summer’s Games in London, a special exhibition called “Olympex 2012”, presented by the IOC and the British Library, will use postage stamps, postcards, letters, programmes and maps to provide unique insights into the Olympic Games, past and present. Beginning with the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, Olympex 2012 will also focus on the London Games in 1908 and 1948, bringing the story into the present day with the London 2012 Games. The exhibition, which is part of the Cultural Olympiad, will be held in the Front Hall of the British Library, St Pancras, from 25 July to 9 September. Find out more here.

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