THE OLD SPORTS AND TOURISM MUSEUM IN A NEW OLYMPIC CENTRE (Stare Muzeum Turystyki i Sportu w Nowym Centrum Olimpijskim)
The Olympic Centre opened in Warsaw on 1 June 2004 proved to be an extraordinary impulse for the whole sports milieu, and exerted an essential impact on the fate of the Sports and Tourism Museum. The authors of the Centre proposed that the shape and functions of the new seat of the Polish Olympic Committee express assorted symbols associated with the Olympic Games. The ground plan of the building refers to the ellipsoidal shape of a stadium, and the roof brings to mind stadium stands. The panoramic glassed-in lift shaft symbolises the Olympic torch, and Olympic disks are displayed in the central fragment of the façade. Within the Centre, the central concrete core is encircled with a ribbon of an ascent-race track, leading to the second storey intended for a permanent exposition of the Sports and Tourism Museum. The Centre is to become the magical site of coexisting muses, a temple of sport, and a home always open for the great Olympic family and hospitable to all children and adolescents interested in sport, as well as an institution offering contemporary knowledge and a gust of history. Many of these postulates are to be found in the statutory tasks of the Sports and Tourism Museum. Transferred from the interior of the totally devastated SKRA sports club stadium, the Museum now has at its disposal an area of 2150 sq. m. and an additionally guaranteed use of conference halls on the ground and fourth floor as well as the Silver Sport cinema. The move to the new seat ended fifty years in the history of one of the oldest European sports museums. Already in June 2004 the Museum featured an exhibition entitled 'The Polish Olympic Debut Chamonix - Paris 1924', followed by an exposition held upon the occasion of world championships: 'Modern Pentathlon in Poland 1922-2005' (July 2005), and 'The Ski Story', brought over from Norway. Today, new architectural conditions and the awareness of creating museum-educational proposals addressed to a public of the 21st century have inspired the announcement of a competition for a project of a permanent exposition. Its purpose should be a synthetic presentation of basic information about the history of Polish sport and the Olympic movement up to this day, a demonstration of the joy of sport, its universal nature and globalism, as well as a promotion of the healthy lifestyle associated with sport. The exhibition will be opened in March 2006 in the wake of the Winter Olympic Games, to be held in Turin.
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