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UPA-BUA Union Professionnelle d'Architectes
Beroepsunie Van Architecten

Architecture as an Olympic discipline

Many architects do not know it, but between 1912 and 1948, architecture, along with painting, sculpture, literature and music, were included in the Olympic disciplines.

Based on an idea by Pierre de Coubertin, medals were awarded for works of art related to sport in five categories: architecture, literature, music, painting and sculpture.

This idea would not become a reality until the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, but with a very small number of participants (35 artists took part); nevertheless, medals were awarded in all five categories.

During the 1920 Olympics, held in Belgium, art competitions were still not very important, unlike the 1924 Games in Paris, where the competition had 193 candidates.

In 1949, a report presented at an IOC meeting in Rome stated that almost all participants in artistic competitions were professionals and that the competitions should therefore be abolished and replaced by an exhibition without prizes or medals.

M. P.