IOC Presidential Candidate Wu Offers to Help London Olympic Museum Project
C K Wu, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) President currently campaigning to take up the most powerful position in world sport as the leader of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has said he would be available to help London re-start its Olympic Museum project.
The Taiwanese architect, who himself has built no less than three Olympic museums, said that although he sees London 2012 as one of the best Games in history he is “sorry” that Britain shelved plans to build what would be a homage to last year’s event on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
“London 2012 was one of the most successful Olympic Games in history,” he told insidethegames in London. “The only thing I feel a little bit sorry about is not building the Olympic Museum because I think that is a very important legacy on the culture side. And for the younger generations so they can see that many years ago in 2012 London delivered such a successful Games in history.”
As exclusively reported by insidethegames last month, Britain’s £10 million ($15 million/€12 million) Olympic Museum project was put on the back burner after being unveiled 18 months earlier at the London Stock Exchange.
It is understood that the unstable economic climate triggered the U-turn, with the British Olympic Association (BOA) now looking at the option of a smaller, traveling museum that can be taken to existing museums, sports events and schools.
However, Wu said the move is a “great pity” and if elected IOC President next month he would make sure that future host cities factor an Olympic museum in to their planning.
“I have the passion for the Olympic legacy, particularly in museums,” he said.
“If the Games organizer is without this cultural legacy, educational legacy it’s a great pity.
“Future generations will never know that London organized [the Games] three times because nothing left can be seen.
“This is the reason I want to see each Olympic host city during their preparation time must include the project of the Olympic museum.
“They collect every piece in the paper, letters, invitations, everything that can be displayed.
“Because once gone, it’s forever gone.
“That is why I said ‘you either postpone or delay the building of the Olympic museum’.”
Wu went on to use his own Samaranch Memorial Museum opened in Tianjin in April as an example that the project can be done even with time and budget constraints and even offered his own services to the cause.
“I built the Samaranch Memorial Museum, 20,000 square metres, 15 hectares of land at the Olympic Park – total time eight months,” he said.
“Now everybody can go there and see.
“Everybody is impressed by the creation of this big museum.
“And it’s not only one, I have built three.
“All come from my own initiative, my own funding.
“I have this passion.
“I like to see that happen again.
“If restarted [the London Olympic museum project] I’d certainly be available to give my experience.
“I saw the budget, it’s only £10 million ($15 million/€12 million) but for the Samaranch Memorial I spent $60 million (£39 million/€45 million).
“I think money should be easy.
“You can find sponsors.”
Inside the Games is a blog of the London Organizing Committee that helped put on the 2012 Summer Olympics. This article is reprinted here with permission of the authors of the blog.