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25 Jun 2010

The Olympic Suite by Rosa Serra in China

IOC President signs Olympic Soul / © CIO/R. Juilliart

Sport enthuses, art too… Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, liked to say that the two made good bedfellows…

Yesterday at The Olympic Museum, a ceremony was held to launch the programme to reproduce the Olympic Suite by Rosa Serra. It took place in the presence of the artist, IOC President Jacques Rogge, Director General Urs Lacotte, Chinese Olympic Marketing Commission Director Jilong Ma and Jack Chen, from the company Honav.

The Olympic Suite is a series of 38 sculptures on Olympic themes produced by the talented Catalan artist Rosa Serra, who has made sport the subject of many of her works. The Suite was begun in 1984, and took 10 years to complete. In 1987, 22 sculptures were shown at an exhibition at the provisional Olympic Museum.

The President with Rosa Serra / © CIO/R. Juilliart

These sculptures, which the IOC now owns, have been all over the world, particularly in China, where the idea of reproducing them was mooted by Honav, a company specialising in developing officially licensed products and the retail trade. Through a partnership with The Olympic Museum and the Chinese Olympic Committee, a programme to reproduce the sculptures was devised. It was finalised in March this year, and yesterday the IOC President was invited to sign, in Mandarin and using a brush on rice paper, Olympic Soul, which symbolises the agreement allowing no more than 99 reproductions of the works from Olympic Suite to be produced.

At the end of the ceremony, four Olympic Suite replicas covered with a flag were unveiled. According to Rosa Serra, they are just as beautiful as the originals!

The Olympic Suite is a perfect symbol of the union between art and sport. It is the only series of sculptures of all the Olympic sports. This is why the IOC allowed Rosa Serra to use the term “Olympic” in the title of her work.

Ma Jilong and Rosa Serra unveil one of the replicas / © CIO/R. Juilliart

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