Olympic Arts

At each Olympic Games between 1912 and 1948 medals were awarded for architecture, painting, sculpture, literature and music. They were known as the Pentathlon of the Muses, and for Pierre de Coubertin, the creator of the modern Olympic movement, they were as important as any sporting event. Without the arts competitions, he said, the Olympics would be only World Championships. Mark Whitaker tells the story of these forgotten contests and why they came to an end.

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