NEW YORK, April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) 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."
"Breal'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 Breal's Silver Cup, visit the Christie's web site, http://www.christies.com/about/press-center/releases/pressrelease.aspx?pressreleaseid=5407
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (www.SNF.org) is one of the world's leading international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare. The Foundation funds organizations and projects that exhibit strong leadership and sound management and are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive social impact. The Foundation also seeks actively to support projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as effective means for serving public welfare.
From 1996 until today, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has approved grant commitments of euro948 million/$1.242 billion, through 2,115 grants to nonprofit organizations in 102 nations around the world. Out of the Foundation's total grant commitments, 79% of funds have been directed to organizations and initiatives in Greece, through 1,013 grants.
The Foundation, concerned with the continuing socio-economic crisis in Greece, announced recently a grant initiative of $130 million (euro100 million) over the next three years to help ease the adverse effects of the deepening crisis. In the last couple of months and as part of the initiative, the SNF has committed grants totaling $14 million (euro10.7 million) in support of numerous not-for-profit organizations around the country, and it is the process of approving a number of additional grants totaling approximately $13.7 million (euro10.3 million).
The Foundation's largest single gift (euro566/$790 million) is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), in Athens. The project is approaching the beginning of the construction phase, with excavation works already in progress at the site. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation firmly believes that the project is of national importance, even more so under the current socio-economic conditions. It remains a testament and a commitment to the country's future, at a critical historical juncture. It is also an engine of short- to mid-term economic stimulus, which is essential under the current circumstances.
SOURCE The Stavros Niarchos Foundation