It’s Beijing’s turn to enter the Olympic history books
29e - Beijing - 2008 are the words engraved yesterday into the marble of the column on the Museum forecourt dedicated to the Summer Olympic Games. This is the eighth time since the Museum opened in 1993 that the master craftsman has come to the Museum – systematically every two years – to add a new name to the edifice.
Like a Greek temple…
You reach the museum via a broad esplanade flanked by six columns in white Thassos marble – a gift from the Greek government when the Museum was being built. They are reminiscent of the peristyle of a Greek temple, possibly the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, where the Ancient Games took place.
Summer Games on the right, Winter Games on the left
The first two columns, which face the lake on both sides of the forecourt, are engraved with the numbers, places and dates of the modern Olympic Games, since their revival in 1896 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The right-hand column is dedicated to the Summer Games, and the left one to the Winter Games.
Eight new names since it opened…Since the Museum was inaugurated in June 1993, a new name has been added to the immaculate marble for each edition of the Games. Before Beijing, there was Lillehammer in 1994, then Atlanta, Nagano, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens and Turin.