Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov donates $8.8 million Olympic document to Games museum
Alisher Usmanov came out as the mystery buyer of the original 1892 Olympic manifesto, the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold at auction, when he donated it to the Olympic museum
Usmanov had bought the 14-page document penned by IOC founder Pierre de Coubertin for a record $8.8 million at auction in New York in December
The Russian's identity had been kept under wraps at the end of a 12-minute long bidding war between three international buyers
The first modern Olympics took place in Athens, Greece, in 1896. Tokyo will host the latest edition of the Games in July
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov came out on Monday as the mystery buyer of the original 1892 Olympic manifesto, the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold at auction, when he donated it to the Olympic museum in Lausanne.
The businessman, who also heads the international fencing federation, had bought the 14-page document penned by International Olympic Committee founder Pierre de Coubertin, advocating the resurrection of the ancient Greek Games, for a record $8.8 million at auction in New York back in December.
Usmanov’s identity had been kept under wraps at the end of a 12-minute long bidding war between three international buyers, that had sent the price from the top estimate of $1 million to the record $8.8 million, according to auctioneer Sotheby’s.
“Today we are witnessing history,” IOC President Thomas Bach said at a ceremony in Lausanne, headquarters of the IOC and the site of the Olympic museum.
“At one level, we are witness to this historic document, the manuscript of the speech that laid out the philosophical foundations of the Olympic Movement.”
“On another level, we are witnessing a historic moment with this manuscript returning to its Olympic home, the place where it belongs.”
Usmanov, who held a 30 percent stake in Premier League club Arsenal until 2018 and last month bought naming rights for Everton’s stadium for 30 million pounds, said the document had to come back to its home.
“This manuscript is the manifesto for the modern Olympic Games. I believe that the Olympic Museum is the most appropriate place to keep this priceless manuscript,” he said.
A New York Yankees jersey worn by Babe Ruth was previously the most expensive item of sports memorabilia, selling for $5.64 million last year.
The first modern Olympics took place in Athens, Greece, in 1896. Tokyo will host the latest edition of the Games in July.
In the days following the 15 April 2019, blaze that engulfed Paris’ Gothic gem, French President Emmanuel Macron set a five-year restoration deadline for 2024, when Paris is to host the Summer Olympics. But French officials quickly backpedaled Macron’s statement, conceding that it was unrealistic to complete the enormous project by that time.
Tokyo Olympics 2020 Latest Updates: As 'Games like no other' appear on horizon, a daily look at noteworthy developments
With less than four months remaining for the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony, there are as many questions as there are answers about how the Games will go on. Follow this live blog for a day-to-day breakdown of the most critical updates about Tokyo 2020:
Ikee clinched a place in Japan's medley relay team at the trials for the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Games on Sunday, just two years after being diagnosed with leukaemia.