skip to content
03 Apr 2012
IOC News , Press Release

The Olympic Museum is opening on the Helvétie moored by the Ouchy lakeside

Starting on 5 April, you will be able to see part of The Olympic Museum’s collections on the Helvétie, one of the CGN’s Belle Époque boats, which has been turned into a floating museum for the occasion. The renovation work on the Museum building started in January and will continue until the end of 2013. During this time, The Museum will be completely closed to the public.

The flame will continue to burn. Thanks to a collaborative effort by the Compagnie générale de navigation (CGN), the city of Lausanne and the canton of Vaud, a 600m2 exhibition has been created on a magnificent paddle steamer, the M/S Helvétie. In this splendid setting, the free exhibition, open from April to October, looks back at the highlights of the last 20 years of Olympism.

It features the exceptional athletes who make the Games what they are, plus the works by the top
creators who have made their mark on the architecture of stadiums or the production of ceremonies and costumes. Many emblematic items from The Museum collections, including torches, medals and sports equipment, are also an integral part of the exhibition. The new sports are there, as well as new technology and recent areas of focus like the environment and urban planning. Audiovisual archives of Games highlights and the biographies of the great champions can be consulted.

Designed as a link between The Olympic Museum of today and that of tomorrow, this floating exhibition will offer passers-by and the many visitors unaware of the closure an attractive and original feature close to what they had originally intended to visit. As well as the exhibition, an information booth describing the Museum renovation, a souvenir shop and a café can also be found on the Quai de Belgique and on the boat itself. Between 100,000 and 200,000 people are expected during the two-year renovation, according to the initial visitor estimates.

But the temporary Museum is not the only place where the Museum’s collections can be seen during this closure period. A few months from now, during the Olympic Games in London, the Royal Opera House will be the showcase for 300 prestigious objects from among the Olympic treasures. “The Olympic Journey” is designed to take visitors on a journey through the history of the Olympic Games. More than 75,000 visitors are expected in this leading arts and culture venue.

After 17 successful years with more than 3.3 million visitors, the most popular museum in French-speaking Switzerland is being renovated over a period of roughly 20 months. Afterwards, an entirely redesigned Museum will open, featuring the latest technology and a new theme-based museographic approach. With an exhibition area of 3,000 m2, each of the three permanent exhibition levels will look at a key dimension of modern Olympism. The park will also be redesigned to create a veritable outdoor museum, with sections devoted to artworks and others set aside for sports activities.

While The Museum is closed, the Olympic Studies Centre will continue to welcome researchers and students looking to make use of its immense resources for their work and study.

To find out more, contact:
Sophie Brinca, Media Relations Coordinator: or tel. +41 21 621 64 04

back to top Fr