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“Faster, higher, stronger!” Attributed to Pierre de Coubertin, one of the founders of the modern Olympics, this slogan formulated the notion of a noble competition between nations at the end of the 19th century. Sports, which stand for the harmony of the soul and the body, and also the desire to achieve better results, have been linked in many ways to a strive for renewal in the arts since the Greek Antiquity. Organised jointly by the Hungarian National Gallery and the Hungarian Museum of Sports on the occasion of the 2012 London Olympics, this exhibition displays artworks and relics that help us understand the objectives and characteristics of various sports, including some that are not part of the Olympics. The works selected for the show were arranged according to their relationship to the notions in the slogan “Faster, higher, stronger!”, and also of efficiency and the cult of the body. The close relationship between art and sports was strongly manifest and prevalent during certain periods throughout the 20th century. Presenting objects and artworks from this rich intellectual and spiritual heritage can be seen as a display of art history and the history of sports at the same time. Since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, many of the slogans of the Olympic Movement have turned out to be illusions. Nevertheless, the original ideas are still present today, standing before us as models to follow.
The curators of the exhibition: Zsolt Petrányi (HNG), Lajos Szabó Dr. (Hungarian Sportmuseum), Gábor Tokai (HNG)