Defunct museum sells off Swiss sports memorabilia

Past pearls, pictured in the now-defunct museum, in 2015. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

The Swiss Sports Museum, which closed to the public in 2019 after funding dried up, has managed to sell much of its collection for just under CHF1 million ($1.1 million).

This content was published on October 22, 2021 - 12:36

The objects were bought by 66 other museums and organisations in Switzerland and abroad, and only a few had to be discarded, the museum said on Friday.

The president of the foundation council, Paul Engelmann, said it was good news that the historic objects will be preserved for posterity. The CHF954,000 proceeds meanwhile allowed the museum to meet all outstanding debts.

Almost half of the sales were football-related memorabilia bought by a foundation linked to FC Basel. The Federal Sports Office bought the museum’s archive and photo collections CHF200,000 for. A museum in St Moritz meanwhile purchased the collection related to bobsleds.

Financial woes

In total, before its closure, the Swiss Sports Museum was home to some 12,000 objects, 200,000 photos, and 11,000 books and magazines.

Prize memorabilia included a yellow jersey worn by cyclist Ferdy Kübler in the Tour de France, a tennis racket used by tennis player Roger Federer, and a helmet won by skier Marie-Theres Nadig during the Winter Olympics in Sapporo in 1972.

The museum had opened in 1945 and was one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. Situated in Münchenstein (northwestern Switzerland), it announced in September 2018 that it was to close due to financial woes; the decision of what to do with the collection was handed over the Swiss Olympic organisation. When open, the museum welcomed some 2,000 visitors each year.

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