Sports exhibitions not to be missed in France

Long live sport! That’s the mantra of these exhibitions organised across France in the run-up to the Paris Olympic Games. Archives of the various physical practices, evolution of activities, Olympic anecdotes, design of disciplines… An overview of these 7 presentations highlighting the history of sport.


Bringing together all ages and social classes, sport is at the heart of the news. With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games just around the corner and the famous Flame of Light travelling across France at this very moment, many museums in France have focused their exhibitions on sporting disciplines. It’s an opportunity to discover the history of the world of sport across a wide range of disciplines, from the culture of hard work to fashion and high-level sport. Head to Rennes, Paris and Marseille for an in-depth look at the world of sport.


‘Masterpieces and exploits’ in Marseille


© DR


Although Marseille will be hosting the football and sailing events at the 2024 Olympic Games, the European Capital of Culture is not content with this honour to showcase its attachment to sport. From 26 April to 8 September 2024, the exhibition ‘Des exploits, des chefs-d’œuvre’ will be taking over three venues in the city to explore the relationship between sport and art. In the emblematic Mucem, the famous museum dedicated to the Mediterranean, the ‘Trophies and relics’ section highlights the influence of sport on beliefs, between relics and contemporary objects. At the Frac Sud – Cité de l’art contemporain, ‘L’Heure de gloire’ presents sport as seen by artists. Finally, at the Musée d’art contemporain, ‘Tableaux d’une exposition’ brings together works on the same theme.


‘Corps à corps – Combats et luttes dans le sport’ exhibition in Senlis


© DR


From 20 March to 22 September 2024, the exhibition ‘Corps à corps – Combats et luttes dans le sport’ (‘Bodies, Bodies, Battles and Struggles in Sport’) will be on show in Senlis, in the Oise department. From Heracles to Mohamed Ali, the exhibition explores the notion of virility and body-building excess over the centuries. The greatest fighters of Greek Antiquity, the athletes who inspired artists and philosophers in the Middle Ages and the athletes of the modern Olympic Games are all studied to gain an insight into the evolution of these disciplines and the resulting bodies.


‘From Olympia to Saint-Etienne, sports at stake’ in Saint-Étienne


© DR


In Saint-Étienne, from 4 April 2024 to 29 November 2024, the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie is honouring sport and its history. The Olympic Games from Antiquity to the modern era are told through 400 archive items. 96 sportsmen and women from the region who took part in this competition between 1920 and 2020 are highlighted.


‘Fashion in motion’ in Paris


© DR


While the Palais Galliera in Paris unveiled its first exhibition dedicated to sport, which ended on 15 March, the subject is making a comeback from 26 April to 5 January. ‘Fashion in Motion’, the second act of the exhibition, features 200 works and tells the story of fashion and the body in motion from the 18th century to the present day. The evolution of sportswear and the impact of physical disciplines on fashion come together to deliver a comprehensive version of the world of sportswear.


‘Living Sport’ in Rennes


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From 23 May 2024 to 23 February 2025, the Musée de Bretagne is bringing together around a hundred images from its collections, highlighting the relationship between photography and sport. Many of the archives are directly linked to Brittany’s heritage, its sporting venues and its flagship sporting activities.


‘Olympism, a modern invention, an ancient heritage’ in Paris


© RMN – Grand Palais – Musée du Louvre –


From 24 April to 16 September, the Musée du Louvre, a must-see cultural venue for tourists and expected to see its visitor numbers boosted by the Paris Olympic Games, is unveiling a temporary exhibition entitled ‘Olympism, a modern invention, an ancient heritage’. With sculptures, vases and statues, you can appreciate sport in art through the stories of 120 works from different periods.


‘Textimoov! in Lille


© DR


From 17 May 2024 to 29 September 2024, the Tripostal art centre in Lille will be presenting the ‘Textimoov! exhibition, the 6th edition of Futurotextiles (an exhibition dedicated to textiles and innovative clothing). As well as showcasing the latest developments in the industry, the exhibition also looks at the relationship between sport and fashion, from streetwear and technical materials to official Olympic outfits.


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Featured photo : © Grand Palais – Musée du Louvre – Hervé Lewandowski

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