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Pierre de Coubertin's founding text donated to Olympic museum
This file photo taken on October 23, 2019 shows the original Olympic Games manifesto, written in 1892 by French aristocrat, educator and athletics advocate Pierre de Coubertin which outlines his vision for reviving the ancient Olympic Games as a modern, international athletic competition, on public display at Sotheby's in Century City, California. Russian businessman and head of the international fencing federation Alisher Usmanov who bought the manifesto at an auction on December 18, 2019 in New York has donated it to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it was announced on February 10, 2020. Mark RALSTON / AFP.

LAUSANNE (AFP).- The original Olympic Games manifesto written in 1892 by Pierre de Coubertin has been donated to the International Olympic Committee by owner Alisher Usmanov, president of the international fencing federation.

Russian billionaire Usmanov bought the 14-page manifesto at auction in New York in December for $8.8 million, a new auction world record for an item of sports memorabilia.

Coubertin outlined his vision for reviving the ancient Olympic Games as a new, international competition in the manifesto.

He argued that athletic endeavor had benefits for individuals and society.

The manuscript is the only known copy of the speech which Coubertin delivered in Paris in 1892.

Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee two years later and the first modern Games took place in 1896 in Athens.

"Your generosity is making this unique moment possible, a moment that reminds us so vividly of the mission of the Olympic Games to unite the world in peaceful competition," IOC president said in a word of thanks to Usmanov.

"It is thanks to your generosity that we can reflect on our history today and celebrate this direct link to our founding father."

Uzbek-born Usmanov, 66, made his fortune in the metals and mining industry, before expanding into telecommunications, technology and media.

The 66-year-old, a former shareholder at English Premier League club Arsenal and currently linked with buying a stake in Everton, became head of the international fencing federation in 2008.

© Agence France-Presse

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