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Exposition L’Aluminium, a metal of Champions !

March 23 - December 15

L’Aluminium, a metal of Champions ! The exhibition 2024 at the Gueules Rouges Museum

In partnership with the National Sports Museum in Nice and the Institute for the History of Aluminum in Paris, the Gueules Rouges museum, present, from March to December 2024, the exhibition “Aluminum, a metal of champions ! » on the theme of aluminum to conquer the sporting environment and in the service of performance. More than a hundred sporting objects and equipment, boat models, iconographic and audiovisual archives will be presented.

Exploits, performances, success and victories depend above all on the athletes, sports and sports. But they are also dependent on equipment and materials, thus competition goes beyond human performance alone and concerns equipment, equipment and materials.
This exhibition aims to show the technological evolution of sports equipment thanks to the use of aluminum and its impact on improving performance.. In effect, it is after 1940 that aluminum is used in the manufacture of many equipment : perches, ski poles, bike frames, competition boats, archery arrows, tennis rackets, but also protective accessories such as helmets, sports shoes and much more… Later, these technical advances are becoming democratized and are becoming accessible to all practitioners.
This theme was chosen on the occasion of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. 2024, celebrated in Paris, and everywhere in France.

An exhibition produced in close collaboration with the Institute for the History of Aluminum, the National Sports Museum, passionate collectors, sports equipment companies and the French Handisport Federation.

Aluminium, Faster, deeper, stronger – Upper, faster, stronger

Manufacturers and designers of sports equipment work in close collaboration with champions to develop the equipment, because aluminum and its alloys make it possible to design more efficient and effective equipment. Very quickly, records fall. In a second time, these advances are becoming more popular and are within the reach of amateur athletes. After years of conquest, l’aluminium, widely used over the years 1950-1970, is itself then in competition with other materials such as glass fibers, of carbon… For some sporting activities, and for certain amateur practices, aluminum and its alloys, however, remain current materials.

The exhibition « L’Aluminium, a metal of champions ! » focuses on three major disciplines that have established particularly tenuous links with aluminum : cycling, mountain sports and sailing.

The fire of Olympus, at flam-luminium ?

Most torches from the Summer Olympics (5 aside), are entirely or partly made of aluminum. The design of the torches, far from being anecdotal, is the support of many symbols.

Olympic torch, Atlanta 1996

The aluminum torch, brass and pecan wood, porte :

  • The list of summer games 1896 to 1996 is engraved on the wooden handle
  • 22 aluminum rods representing the number of editions of the Summer Olympic Games
  • A connection between the sky, the earth and the Olympic flame thanks to locally sourced wood, farmer donation.

Athens 2004, XVIIIth Olympics

The torch is made of olive wood and aluminum : olive Tree, sacred tree of Mediterranean peoples, symbol of the city of Athens and peace ; aluminum occupying a major place in Greece since the founding of the industrial complex in Agios Nikolaos, on the Gulf of Corinth, in 1960.

Tokyo 2020, XXIIth Olympics

Recycled aluminum, present at the height of 30 % approximately in each of the torches, was originally used for prefabricated temporary housing for victims of the earthquake that struck the Tohoku region in 2011.

© photographic collection of L’Aluminium français, Institute for the History of Aluminum @ Adobe Stock

The Red Face Museum in Tourves

The Gueules Rouges museum retraces along a fun tour route, the history of bauxite mining in the Var. Self-guided tour thanks to the interactive terminals, you will discover the origin of bauxite, the techniques for transforming this ore into aluminum and the uses of yesterday and today of this exceptional metal. Accompanied by a tour guide, you can also dive into the heart of the life of miners and explore the reconstructed mine gallery.

Practical information – contact

  • Access : Avenue de la Libération – 83170 Tourves
  • Come in Tourves : A8, sortie 35, direction Tourves
  • Contact : – mgr@caprovenceverte.fr


March 23
December 15
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Musée des Gueules Rouges