Spyros Louis Cup - Εικόνα

Conceived and designed by Michel Bréal for the champion of the first Marathon race – the Greek runner Spyros Louis – the Silver Cup was awarded at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896; today, it is on permanent display at the SNFCC.

This historic item was acquired by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation when it became available for sale by the runner’s grandson at Christie’s. As soon as the Cup was acquired, the SNF committed to making it accessible to the public, keeping it permanently on display at the SNFCC. Until then, over 3.5 million visitors had already admired the Cup when it was displayed at the Acropolis Museum in Athens and at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

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SNF lends the prize given at the first Olympic marathon for a temporary exhibition on the revival of the Games.

The historic Spyros Louis Cup, presented to the winner of the first Olympic marathon at the inaugural modern Olympic Games, which was inspired and designed by Michel Bréal and acquired in an auction by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) with the goal of making it freely accessible to the public by putting it on display at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), will travel to one of the world’s most prominent museums this year. From April 24 to September 16, the Cup will be at the Louvre Museum in Paris as one of the centerpieces of the upcoming temporary exhibition Olympism: Modern Invention, Ancient Legacy, organized in collaboration with the Ecole Française d'Athènes to coincide with the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Through the exhibition Olympism: Modern Invention, Ancient Legacy, visitors to the Louvre will have the opportunity to admire the silver cup bearing Michel Bréal’s inscription in Greek, “Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 1896, μαραθώνιον άθλον, έδωκεν Μιχαήλ Μπρέαλ" (“Olympic Games 1896, Marathon Trophy, Donated by Michel Bréal”), which aimed to link the modern Olympics with the Olympic Games of antiquity.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos said,“The loan of the Spyros Louis Cup to the Louvre Museum, coinciding with the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, reflects the ongoing commitment of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to making this unique historical and cultural artifact, which at the same time symbolizes too the values of sportsmanship and fair play, accessible to an ever wider public to be enjoyed—in this case to the millions of visitors that the Museum is expected to attract, especially during the Olympic Games.”