By Tom Degun at the Royal Opera House in London

Usain Bolt on the wall in the Olympic Museum. Photo: www.insidethegames.bizBP, the Official Oil and Gas Partner for the London 2012 Games, have today announced that they will be working with The Olympic Museum in Lausanne to create a ground-breaking free to view exhibition here at the Royal Opera House during the Games.

The exhibition, which will be titled "The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games," will be open to the public at the Royal Opera House for the duration of the 2012 Olympic Games next summer from July 27 to August 12, 2012.

It will include unique artefacts, graphics, film and audio loaned from The Olympic Museum being shown in London for the first time ever and BP believe the exhibition will be a highlight of the London 2012 Festival which is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad.

"BP is a longstanding supporter of arts and culture in the UK, partnering with leading institutions for over 30 years," said Peter Mather, BP's Regional vice- president for Europe and head of country UK.

"As an Official Partner of the London 2012 Games and a Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, it is fitting for BP to build upon our strong relationship with the Royal Opera House to bring this new exhibition to London for the Games.

"Behind the great spectacle of the Olympic Games lie powerful human stories.

"The purpose of this exhibition is to inspire visitors by highlighting some of the remarkable athletes and tales from the rich history of the Games.

"It will be a free, fun and popular destination and we are delighted to be collaborating with The Olympic Museum to put on a once in a lifetime experience for visitors from all over the world at the London 2012 Olympic Games next year."

Highlights of the exhibition include a display of all the Olympic Medals since the first Modern Olympics in Athens in 1896 as well as all the Olympic Torches since the Berlin 1936 Games which was the first Olympic Games where they features.

There will also be a "Hall of Champions" featuring the stories and inspirational achievements of great Olympians from the Modern Games, including triple Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, while visitors will be taken on a journey from ancient Greece, the original home of the Olympic Games, through the vision of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the man behind the revival of the Games many centuries later.

The experience will continue with the stories of some of the iconic Olympic athletes and moments of the last hundred years of Olympic history and is being curated by The Olympic Museum in partnership with leading exhibition designers Metaphor.

"Arts and culture have an important role to play alongside the magnificent sporting competition next summer," said Tony Hall, chairman of the Cultural Olympiad Board and chief executive of the Royal Opera House.

"The London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, is already shaping up to be one of the finest of any Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Royal Opera House is delighted to be playing its part.

"We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of new visitors to the Royal Opera House in 2012."

Jonathan Edwards at Bp in the Olympic Museum. Photo: www.insidethegames.comAmong those attending the event were Jonathan Edwards, the 2000 Olympic triple jump champion and world record holder, who is a member of the London 2012 Board.

Francis Gabet, director of The Olympic Museum," said: "Exhibits from The Olympic Museum have been displayed in different Olympic host cities before, but this exhibition is particularly exciting; it is much more ambitious and will truly bring the Olympic spirit to London."

"By hosting this exhibition in one of the world's leading arts and culture institutions we hope that our collaboration for London 2012 will set a new benchmark for future Olympic host cities."

Deborah Bull, creative director of the Royal Opera House, added: "We are delighted to be working with The Olympic Museum and BP to create this unique Olympic experience.

"The Olympic and Paralympic Games are an example of the best of human spirit and physical endeavour.

"The Games in our city offer a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the inspirational talent of the world's greatest athletes, reminding us – like the artists who more usually perform on our stages – of the extraordinary achievements of which human beings are capable."

Contact the writer of this story at tom.degun@insidethegames.biz.


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