On the 27th of June 2014, the National Museum of Sport was opened in the Grand Stadium of Nice, a lifelong dream of 51 years old for the French Government. XXX
In this exceptional site designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, more than 45,000 objects and 400,000 documents constitute one of the largest collections in the world.
This treasure includes material, clothing, trophies, mascots, posters, paintings, films, photographs or records. Dandy horses and other legendary siblings, balls and rackets, vintage skis, tracksuits and costumes of the most famous athletes rallying the whole history of sports from the antique to today.
The visitors can relive the great moments of emotions which imprinted all the minds thanks to an immersive museography. Multimedia contents, easy to manipulate by several users at the same time allowing a complete and truly instructive approach while giving the illusion to be alongside the champions and heroes of modern times.
Maurice Herzog, secretary of Youth and the Sports, was the first to come up with the idea of creating a National Museum of Sport. In 1963, he appoints George Henri Rivière: director of the musée national des Arts et Traditions Populaires, and Jean Durry: former racing cyclist and sport passionate, to lead the project of creating a sports museum.
The institution will collect and acquire objects and works of art tracking down sports history. Its main focus is to depict the evolution of the various sports disciplines through objects, records and memories arising from great champions – mainly French – but also of federations and the companies related to sports.
The Museum was initially installed at the Parc des Princes in 1979. The permanent and temporary exhibitions, the administrative and scientific services and the supply occupy various levels and spaces of this 1650 m² of this area. The galleries of the Musée National du Sport are inaugurated in 1988. The public will have only access in 1998, year in which these premises will be closed to the public because of the World Cup. Meanwhile, the museum is professionalised and becomes ‘Musée de France’ in 2004. In March 2006, it is granted the status of administrative public body (EPA).
In June 2008, the Museum turns a new page in its history while moving in a new exhibition area of more than 700 m² of open space, all this at 93 avenue de France (Paris, 75013). Sports, its history and its impact on the societal level, are portrayed through three rooms. Extremely rare pieces and masterpieces like: the first Olympic trophy, the Gravelotte Cup, the gloves of Marcel Cerdan or the “Joueuses de Tennis”of Maurice Denis, and many more treasured heritage are laid out.
The following chapter of this beautiful story will be written in Nice, in the heart of the new city-stadium. A memorandum of understanding is signed between the Ministry of Sports, the Town of Nice and the National Museum of Sport on the 27th of May 2010. The National Museum of Sport will be established there. Four years later, the project comes to fruition with the public opening on the 27th of June 2014.