Chinese sculptor donates Pierre de Coubertin statue to IOC

Lausanne, Jan 17 (IANS) China’s world-renowned sculptor Wu Weishan presented a Pierre de Coubertin statue as a gift to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) here.

The ceremony, held at the IOC headquarters building on Monday, was attended by IOC President Thomas Bach. Pierre de Coubertin is the father of modern Olympics, reports Xinhua.

On behalf of the IOC, Bach expressed his appreciation to Professor Wu and awarded him an IOC Presidential trophy.

“Your work is a masterpiece,” said Bach. “You are like Olympic athletes, always striving for excellence and setting yourself no limits. That’s why I think the trophy fits you very well,” Bach added.

Wu, who is Director of the National Art Museum of China, noted that the 76 cm — nearly 2.5 ft — statue embodies the “holy Olympic spirit” and shows “respect for the founder of the modern Olympic Movement” as well. Wu said it took him about six months to finish the work.

The statue will be kept for posterity at the Olympic Museum, Bach promised.

Wu has been a sculptor for more than 20 years, and has created more than 500 sculptures. These include depictions of historical and cultural notables and ordinary people alike, both from China and abroad.

His works have also earned him several international awards, including the Pangolin Award.