Olympic fire

André Ricard Sala1993

The Olympic Museum

The Olympic Museum
Lausanne, Switzerland

Cauldron on a circular base with the Olympic motto and rings.

The Olympic Museum basin was created based on the myth of Prometheus. The flame shoots up from a radiant wheel in reference to the wheel of the sun chariot from which Prometheus stole fire. The Greek sentence “The fire stolen for mankind from the sun’s wheel” is a reminder of this legend. This bronze spoked wheel stands on a massive granite vase, which follows the pure lines of the cups in which the vestals at Olympia present the flame. The wheel and vase are then placed delicately in the middle of a parabola, which features the Olympic motto Citius Altius Fortius, faster, higher, stronger.

Every day, at noon, the flame burns higher for one minute. It is switched to standby when the Museum is closed, by enclosing it between two half-parabolas. This also happens automatically when it rains or snows, or when the wind is blowing.

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  • Title: Olympic fire
  • Date Created: 1993
  • Location Created: Spain
  • Sculptor: André Ricard
  • Physical Dimensions: w5050 x h1050 cm (Complete)
  • Artistic school or movement: From 1944 to 1947, André Ricard, a French industrial designer born in Barcelona, began his artistic studies in the studio of S. Warnia Zarzecka in Barcelona. The following year, he had his French high school graduation at the Saint-Genès school in Bordeaux. During the 50s, he first travelled to London to work for Davies & Turner and then settled in New York where he met Raymond Loewy, through whose writings Ricard discovered design, as well as Peter Muller-Munk. In 1958, he opened his own studio: Centro Diseño Industrial. In the early 70s, he became the president of the ADI/FAD (Association of Industrial Design for the Support of Decorative Arts). Many of his designs became a part of everyday life throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. André Ricard was the creator of the Barcelona 1992 Olympic torch.
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: International Olympic Committee, 2006, ©IOC/G.Peter
  • Medium: Granite (cashmere white) and bronze sculpture