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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Olympic medals on display

19th June 2012

The British Museum is displaying a number of medals that will be used in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As well as the medals themselves, the exhibition will explain the story behind the metals used to make the winning tokens as well as how the designs for each medal came about.

The exhibition will run until September 9th and is ideal for those staying in central London hotels during the Olympics and is part of the city-wide London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

On display will also be a number of items linked to previous games including the 19th-century Shropshire event which inspired the development of the modern Paralympics. Visitors will also be given a chance to see medals from the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games.

Entry to the exhibition is free and the museum is well placed for those staying at luxury hotels in London as it is close to a number of London Underground stations.

The medals have been designed by British artist David Watkins and feature five symbolic elements as well as he Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike, stepping out of the Panathinaiko Stadium.

"It is exciting to think that the finest athletes in the world will be wearing my medal design next summer. Its key symbols juxtapose, front and back, the goddess Nike for the spirit and tradition of the Games and the River Thames for the city of London. I hope the medal will be enjoyed and treasured as a record of great personal achievements in 2012," said the artist.

The British Museum is also hosting a free trail to help mark the capital's hosting of the Olympic Games that could be ideal for historic sports fans. The special trail includes 12 different pieces that represent the history of winning.

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