The Olympic Museum in Lausanne received Monday from Alisher Usmanov the original 1892 Olympic manifesto, written by Pierre de Coubertin, in which he advocated the return of the Olympic Games.
The Russian billionaire, who is also the president of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), had bought this 14-page document at an auction in New York, last December, for an amount of 8.8 million dollars (approximately 8 million euros). Which made it the most cherished piece of sports memorabilia in history.
One of the pages of the original Olympic manifesto written by Pierre de Coubertin in 1892. (M. Ralston / AFP)
By making this donation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Usmanov also unmasked himself. Because, like all bidders, the Russian tycoon had wished to remain anonymous during the sale.
“We are witnessing a historic moment with the return of this manuscript to its Olympic home, the place where it should be”
« Today we are witnessing history, said Thomas Bach, IOC President, at the document handover ceremony. […] We are witnesses of this historic document, the manuscript of the speech that laid the philosophical foundations of the Olympic movement. […] We are witnessing a historic moment with the return of this manuscript to its Olympic home, the place where it should be. »
« This manuscript is the manifesto of the modern Olympic Games, for his part, confided Alisher Usmanov. I think the Olympic Museum is the most suitable place to store this invaluable manuscript. »
Prior to the manifesto’s purchase, the most expensive sports “relic” in history was a baseball jersey worn by Babe Ruth when he played for the New York Yankees. It had been bought for 5.64 million dollars (5.15 million euros).