18 APRIL 2012 / Historic Breal’s Silver Cup, Marathon Winner’s Cup from the First Modern Olympics, acquired at Christie’s Auction by The Stavros Niarchos Foundation

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced today that it has acquired Breal’s Silver Cup, the first Marathon Winner’s Cup presented to Spyros Louis at the inaugural Modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, in a heated auction held at Christie’s South Kensington. The cup will be shared with the Greek people by being permanently displayed for public view at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center upon its completion in 2015. In the interim, the Foundation will work to find a suitable and temporary location for display.

“The significance and value of the silver cup won by the Greek runner Spyros Louis and kept in his family’s possession since then is far greater than almost any other Olympic memorabilia dating from those first modern Olympics held in Athens,” said Alexander Kitroeff, Associate Professor of History at Haverford College and distinguished Olympic historian. “The fact that the family managed to preserve the cup through more than a century of tumultuous events including several wars and foreign occupation of Greece symbolizes the importance that Greeks attach to their ancient heritage and the Olympic Games.”

Bréal’s Silver Cup will be shared with the public and serve as a reminder of our history, heritage and resilient spirit,” said Andreas C. Dracopoulos, co-President and Member of the Board at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. “Our hope is that the cup inspires and rekindles Greek pride, just as Louis’ victory did on the last day of what would become the Modern Olympic Games.”

For more information on the historical background of Bréal’s Silver Cup, visit the Christie’s web site.