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18OLYMPIC REVIEW Since its inauguration in 1993, The Olympic Museum has become by far Lausanne's most popular destination for tourists and Olympic students alike. But if you think Lausanne is home to the only Olympic Museum in the world, think again. From other big museums in Olympic cities like Barcelona and Atlanta to smaller establishments such as the O Museu in Angola or the Olympic Museum of Zimbabwe, there are around 75 institutions around the world that nowadays lay claim to the title " Olympic Museum", with at least another dozen in the pipeline. In terms of educating and informing people about the Olympic Movement, the importance of these museums cannot be under- estimated. Francis Gabet, Director of The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, says: " Where else can you explain that the Olympic Games is not just an event every two years, but a philosophy for life?" While competition is a central pillar of that philosopy, the growing number of Olympic Museums around the world has led not to fierce rivalry but to a concerted attempt to harness their combined strength. The Olympic Museum Network ( OMN) was established in 2006 by 11 founding members, seven in Europe and four in Asia, with the aim of finding ways of working together to improve quality and to share costs. Over the past three years the network has helped with exhibitions at the Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport de Barcelona; with the shop at the Seoul Olympic Museum; with the " Coubertin and the Arts" exhibition between Germany and Estonia; with exchanges between the Olympic Museum and the China Sports Museum of Beijing; and with participation in the Short- Film Contest of the Cultural Department of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Xiamen Olympic Museum and the Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport de Barcelona. " My philosophy is to do concrete projects together, because of course culture and education is not a revenue stream, it's a cost and an investment," says Gabet, who is also chairman of the OMN. " In order to make more impact and to have some economy of scale, common projects are key: helping each other in the acquisition market or in dealing with collections, having co- productions of exhibitions or educational programmes and having common programmes for business development." Following the recent addition of museums soon to open in Brazil and Qatar there are now 13 members of the OMN. Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong are also candidates. The OMN currently attracts around two million visitors a year. Gabet sees that figure rising significantly however: " Our common objective is to build a ' transmission platform' within three to four years of five million physical visitors per year, plus at least another five million virtual visitors, and maybe a lot more than that," he says. There are plans for Olympic Museums in Russia, Italy, Morocco, Colombia, Beijing and Kuwait among others. " In the long- term I hope that every Olympic Museum can be part of it, but we have to take it step by step," says Gabet. Below left Representatives of the OMN, gathered in Lausanne, in June OLYMPICMUSEUMSMOVING FORWARDTOGETHER THE OLYMPIC MUSEUM NETWORK ? The Olympic Museum, Lausanne ? Thessaloniki Olympic Museum ? Olympic Stadium Amsterdam ? Xiamen Olympic Museum ? Tianjin Dagon Olympic Museum ? Seoul Olympic Sports Promotion Foundation ? China Sports Museum, Beijing ? Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport de Barcelona ? Estonian Sports Museum, Tartu ? The Sports Museum Foundation of Finland, Helsinki ? Deutsches Sport und Olympia Museum, Cologne